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Toxoplasmosis is considered to be the third leading cause of death attributed to foodborne illness in the United States. More than 60 million men, women, and children in the U.S. carry the Toxoplasma parasite, but very few have symptoms because the immune system usually keeps the parasite from causing illness. However, women newly infected with Toxoplasma during pregnancy and anyone with a compromised immune system should be aware that toxoplasmosis can have severe consequences for them.
Discovery opens new pathways for treatment of toxoplasmosis and malaria

Discovery opens new pathways for treatment of toxoplasmosis and malaria

A newly identified protein and other proteins it interacts with could become effective targets for new drugs to control the parasite that cause toxoplasmosis, researchers led by investigators at Indiana University School of Medicine have reported. [More]
Atorvastatin drug plus zoledronic acid may help treat toxoplasmosis

Atorvastatin drug plus zoledronic acid may help treat toxoplasmosis

Researchers at the University of Georgia have discovered that a combination of two commonly prescribed drugs used to treat high cholesterol and osteoporosis may serve as the foundation of a new treatment for toxoplasmosis, a parasitic infection caused by the protozoan Toxoplasma gondii. They published their findings recently in PLOS Pathogens. [More]
Toxoplasma infection makes mice fearless

Toxoplasma infection makes mice fearless

The Toxoplasma parasite can be deadly, causing spontaneous abortion in pregnant women or killing immune-compromised patients, but it has even stranger effects in mice. [More]
Research sheds light on malaria-related parasite's transition from acute to chronic stage

Research sheds light on malaria-related parasite's transition from acute to chronic stage

A new discovery about the malaria-related parasite Toxoplasma gondii -- which can threaten babies, AIDS patients, the elderly and others with weakened immune function -- may help solve the mystery of how this single-celled parasite establishes life-long infections in people. [More]
Combination of two environmental factors contributes to schizophrenia

Combination of two environmental factors contributes to schizophrenia

The interplay between an infection during pregnancy and stress in puberty plays a key role in the development of schizophrenia, as behaviourists from ETH Zurich demonstrate in a mouse model. However, there is no need to panic. [More]
Stem cell line could also advance research into liver cancers, cystic fibrosis

Stem cell line could also advance research into liver cancers, cystic fibrosis

Chronic or acute, liver failure can be deadly. Toxins take over, the skin turns yellow and higher brain function slows. "There is no effective therapy at the moment to deal with the toxins that build up in your body," said Neil Talbot, a Research Animal Scientist for the USDA Agricultural Research Service. "Their only option now is to transplant a liver." [More]
Researchers identify signaling pathway used by malarial parasites to destroy host cells

Researchers identify signaling pathway used by malarial parasites to destroy host cells

One of the most insidious ways that parasitic diseases such as malaria and toxoplasmosis wreak their havoc is by hijacking their host's natural cellular processes, turning self against self. [More]
Boston College professor to research into new drugs that can prevent onset of toxoplasmosis

Boston College professor to research into new drugs that can prevent onset of toxoplasmosis

The American Cancer Society has awarded a four-year, $720,000 grant to Boston College Associate Professor of Biology Marc-Jan Gubbels for research into potential new drugs that can prevent the onset of toxoplasmosis in cancer patients with weakened immune systems. [More]
Study demonstrates how parasites enter the brain to influence its host

Study demonstrates how parasites enter the brain to influence its host

Toxoplasma is a common 'cat parasite', and has previously been in the spotlight owing to its observed effect on risk-taking and other human behaviours. To some extent, it has also been associated with mental illness. A study led by researchers from Karolinska Institutet in Sweden now demonstrates for the first time how the parasite enters the brain to influence its host. [More]
Toxoplasmosis linked to greater schizophrenia severity

Toxoplasmosis linked to greater schizophrenia severity

Schizophrenia patients infected with Toxoplasma gondii have more severe symptomatology than those without the infection, researchers report. [More]
CUMC researchers develop first true mouse model of typhoid infection

CUMC researchers develop first true mouse model of typhoid infection

Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC) researchers have created the first true mouse model of typhoid infection. The development promises to advance the study of typhoid and the creation of new vaccines against the infection, which remains a major health threat in developing countries. [More]
Antisense therapy shows promise in treating toxoplasmosis

Antisense therapy shows promise in treating toxoplasmosis

A targeted approach to treating toxoplasmosis, a parasitic disease, shows early promise in test-tube and animal studies, where it prevented the parasites from making selected proteins. When tested in newly infected mice, it reduced the number of viable parasites by more than 90 percent, researchers from the University of Chicago Medicine report in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. [More]

Health system changes move forward

Press reports detail the steps that might happen next in terms of the health law's implementation as well as what the decision might mean for consumers. [More]
Scientists identify which T. gondii strains are linked with severe illness in U.S. infants

Scientists identify which T. gondii strains are linked with severe illness in U.S. infants

Scientists have identified which strains of the Toxoplasma gondii parasite, the cause of toxoplasmosis, are most strongly associated with premature births and severe birth defects in the United States. [More]
Toxoplasma gondii directly affects production of dopamine in brain

Toxoplasma gondii directly affects production of dopamine in brain

A research group from the University of Leeds has shown that infection by the brain parasite Toxoplasma gondii, found in 10-20 per cent of the UK's population, directly affects the production of dopamine, a key chemical messenger in the brain. [More]
Researchers characterise protein complex linked to malaria and toxoplasmosis

Researchers characterise protein complex linked to malaria and toxoplasmosis

Maryse Lebrun, Research Director at Inserm, and her fellow researchers at the Laboratoire Dynamique des interactions membranaires normales et pathologiques, have characterised a protein complex that allows the agents that cause malaria and toxoplasmosis to infect host cells. [More]
VIDAS TOXO IgG Avidity assay to test for recent Toxoplasma gondii infection receives FDA clearance

VIDAS TOXO IgG Avidity assay to test for recent Toxoplasma gondii infection receives FDA clearance

On May 18, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration cleared the first test to help determine whether a pregnant woman or a person with swollen lymph nodes testing positive for toxoplasmosis, sometimes known as cat scratch disease, developed the infection within the past four months. [More]
Recent releases in Global Health

Recent releases in Global Health

A Lancet Infectious Diseases editorial describes the growing public concerns over a global rise in antimicrobial resistance. "Bearing in mind that our objective is to contain antibiotic resistance rather than eradicate it, several policies could be adopted to help guarantee a future for antibiotics," the editorial states, adding, "We need reliable data to tackle antibiotic resistance. [More]
Study: Pseudokinases can play a crucial role in pathogen-based disease

Study: Pseudokinases can play a crucial role in pathogen-based disease

Researchers from the University of Pittsburgh and Stanford University discovered that a supposedly inactive protein actually plays a crucial role in the ability of one the world's most prolific pathogens to cause disease, findings that suggest the possible role of similarly errant proteins in other diseases. [More]
New findings help explain why toxoplasmosis causes serious disease

New findings help explain why toxoplasmosis causes serious disease

Providing clues into why the severity of a common parasitic infection can vary greatly from person to person, a new Johns Hopkins study shows that each one of three strains of the cat-borne parasite Toxoplasma gondii sets off a unique reaction in the nerve cells it invades. [More]