Toxoplasmosis is commona parasitic disease that affects one third of the world's population. A disease caused by toxoplasma can affect most vital systems of the body, and, first of all, the nervous system. Recent studies have shown that the disease can negatively affect the human organs of vision and even cause damage to the retina.
What is toxoplasma and why is it so dangerous?
Toxoplasma gondii is an intracellular parasite,which in nature has two owners: one of them is intermediate, and the second is final. So, the final owners for them are representatives of the cat family, and intermediate - birds, domestic animals, some wild mammals and even humans. Infection of a person occurs by the so-called alimentary route, when a person swallows toxoplasma oocysts with food, as well as in direct contact with an infected animal or in case of non-compliance with hygiene rules. Despite the relatively mild course of the disease in an adult, toxoplasmosis can be extremely dangerous for the development of the fetus during pregnancy.
You should know that a person is not finitethe goal of a parasite that seeks by any means to get into the body of any member of the feline family. In order to achieve its goal, toxoplasma is able to exert a strong influence on the behavior of its owner. So, getting into the body of a rat or mouse, toxoplasma takes control of the nervous system of the animal, literally directing the rodent to the nearest cat. Numerous studies show that the simplest one can control the level of dopamine in the body of a rat or mouse with one simple goal: to find a predatory animal and literally rush into its mouth, thus falling into the body of your pet.
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In the event that the parasite is somehowenters the human body, some changes also begin to occur in the body of the latter. It is believed that a patient with toxoplasmosis is more prone to risk, his reaction rate is significantly reduced and anxiety occurs, bordering on neuroticism. In addition, very original personality changes were identified that vary due to gender. So, men become more aggressive, and women begin to differ in frankness and honesty. Scientists have not yet fully clarified what exactly these similar differences in the behavior of men and women suffering from toxoplasmosis are related to, since it is unlikely that frankness or increased aggressiveness can allow toxoplasma to force its victim to be eaten by a cat.
However, one cannot argue with nature, as they say.
Toxoplasmosis affects human vision
Study conducted by internationala research team from the University of Flinders and the University of São Paulo showed that toxoplasma affects not only human behavior, but also affects its organs of vision. So, the team studied proteins from infected retinal cells, which provoke neighboring uninfected eye cells to overgrow, causing their specific damage. During a large-scale study among patients with toxoplasmosis, it was found that the infection causes specific eye damage in more than 90% of cases.
The study was conducted in a group of 263 peoplefor 28 months. The results showed that T. gondii infects human retinal pigment cells and reduces the production of the important TSP1 protein, which causes tissue growth of uninfected cells and, as a result, makes these cells more susceptible to infection. Dr. Joao Furtado, one of the researchers from the University of São Paulo and the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness, claims that these studies will help those suffering from toxoplasmosis in alleviating the symptoms of the disease, namely with visual impairment.
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Due to the fact that currently does not existA universal vaccine against toxoplasmosis, the World Health Organization recommends adhering to basic hygiene rules, which include washing your hands, using clean water, and proper cooking.