Parasite makes mice lose fear of cats permanently

Behavioural changes persist after Toxoplasma infection is cleared. Eliot Barford 18 September 2013 Mice infected with toxoplasmosis lose their instinctive fear for the smell of cats — and the parasite’s effects may be permanent. Wendy Ingram/Adrienne Greene A parasite that infects up to one-third of people around the world may have the ability to permanently…

Study turns parasite invasion theory on its head: Malaria vaccine may be destined to fail

Contact: Jen Middleton j.middleton@wellcome.ac.uk Wellcome Trust Current thinking on how the Toxoplasma gondii parasite invades its host is incorrect, according to a study published today in Nature Methods describing a new technique to knock out genes. The findings could have implications for other parasites from the same family, including malaria, and suggest that drugs that…

Common parasite may trigger suicide attempts – “seven times more likely to attempt suicide”

Contact:   Jason Cody, Media Communications, Office: (517) 432-0924, Cell: (734) 755-0210, Jason.Cody@cabs.msu.edu; Lena Brundin, College of Human Medicine, Office: (616) 234-0996, lena.brundin@hc.msu.edu EAST LANSING, Mich. — A parasite thought to be harmless and found in many people may actually be causing subtle changes in the brain, leading to suicide attempts. New research appearing in…