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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
Schizophrenia patients infected with Toxoplasma gondii have more severe symptomatology than those without the infection, researchers report.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have learned why changes in a single gene, ROP18, contribute substantially to dangerous forms of the parasite Toxoplasma gondii. The answer has likely moved science a step closer to new ways to beat Toxoplasma and many other parasites.
Today, U.S. scientists committed to finding answers to reducing and eliminating what are known as neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) that plague the world's poorest people in developing countries, urged the FDA to include in its orphan classification the neglected infections of poverty that also affect Americans, and expressed support for stronger relationships with the FDA to ultimately halt these ancient scourges.