Long-Term Effects of Toxoplasmosis Brain Infection

Long-Term Effects of Toxoplasmosis Brain Infection
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The effect of toxoplasma brain parasites can cause personality alterations.

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Below is an approximation of this video’s audio content. To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video.

Of all foodborne diseases, a brain parasite called toxoplasma is “ranked as the fourth leading cause of hospitalization and the second leading cause of death” in the United States. Nearly a quarter of us have already been infected—one in three of us by the time we hit our fifties. Although we may then be stuck with this thing in our brain for life, our immune system is so good at keeping it at bay, for most healthy people it’s never able to rear its ugly head—or at least overtly: “studies have now revealed associations between [toxoplasma infection] and the presence of various psychiatric disorders in humans”—schizophrenia, bipolar, suicide, self-harm, and memory impairment when we get older. How can a tiny parasite alter our very behavior?

I talked about how the rabies virus hangs out in the saliva, while specifically targeting the emotion center of the brain to drive animals into a fury, so they’ll effectively do the virus’s bidding to bite others to transmit the virus; or the famous zombie-ant brain fungus that takes over the animal completely. These are examples of so-called parasitic manipulation, where the parasite manipulates the host to “[enhance] its own transmission by altering host behavior.” And toxoplasma is “perhaps one of the most convincing examples of a manipulative parasite of [higher animals, like us].”

Since the parasite thrives in cats, “chronically infected rodents no longer respond to cat odour with fear and indeed the physical response is reversed to attraction.” Mice become attracted to the smell of cats, serving the parasite up on a silver platter. The parasite manipulates the rodent’s brain to turn “their innate aversion to cats into a ‘suicidal’ ‘fatal feline attraction.’” Mice become attracted to cat pee, and such fatal feline attraction appears specific towards cats. They don’t become attracted to pee in general. They remain indifferent to rabbit pee, and continue to be turned off by other predator pee. So, on one hand, the parasitic manipulation appears incredibly specific, but the parasite doesn’t just want the mouse to seek out the cat, but get eaten as well. And so, there are these general effects too: impaired motor function, slower response times, “memory, and co-ordination.” And so, when the cat pounces, the parasite tries to make sure the mouse doesn’t get away. It’s like when California sea otters get toxoplasma, they’re more likely to get eaten by a shark. It’s not that the parasite wants to get into the shark—it may just be a by-product of the kind of general cognitive deficits that is so helpful for the parasite in other contexts.

It’s like when humans get toxoplasma, we start liking the smell of cat pee more, too. Isn’t that wacky? The parasite knows just what strings to pull. But it’s the more general effects we’re concerned about. We don’t need to worry our newfound appreciation for saber-tooth tiger urine is going to get us eaten, but mucking with our reaction times, that could be a problem. That could be why multiple studies have shown more traffic and worksite accidents among those that are chronically infected. But it may not just be our slowed reaction time. The parasite appears to also affect “subtle behavioural alterations,” like personality alterations that make us more likely to take risks. Great for the parasite in the cat-and-mouse game, but not so much if we’re driving a car, or wondering whether or not to take that next drink. Maybe one reason people with this brain parasite get into so many car accidents is that it may make people engage in riskier behaviors, like excessive alcohol consumption.

We typically think of malaria as being humanity’s greatest killer parasite. “However, when we take into account the hundreds of thousands of deaths that occur due to the increased probability of traffic accidents, working accidents, suicides, and possibly also other side effects of the infection,” maybe this supposed “’asymptomatic’ latent toxoplasma infection [that has infested one in four Americans] could easily take malaria down [a notch].” Before I get into how to prevent and treat the darn thing, what might these other side effects be?

How exactly does toxoplasma manipulate behavior? Well, one clue we got decades ago is the rise in dopamine levels in the brain. You can show it right in a petri dish of infected brain tissue. Turns out that these parasites actually have an enzyme to make dopamine from scratch, which they then release into the surrounding brain tissue. Why do we care? Because elevated dopamine is a characteristic of schizophrenia. That’s how nearly all modern antipsychotic drugs work, by trying to bring dopamine levels back down—”either inhibit[ing] dopamine receptors or decreas[ing] the level of dopamine in the brain.”

Is it “possible that the increased dopamine accumulation and release observed during [toxoplasma] infection” might increase the risk of schizophrenia? Well, that should be easy to figure out. I mean, do schizophrenics have an increased prevalence of infection? “The increased prevalence of toxoplasmosis in schizophrenics [has been] demonstrated by at least 50 studies.”

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Image credit: CDC/Dr. L.L. Moore, Jr. via publicdomainfiles. Image has been modified.

Motion graphics by Avocado Video

Below is an approximation of this video’s audio content. To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video.

Of all foodborne diseases, a brain parasite called toxoplasma is “ranked as the fourth leading cause of hospitalization and the second leading cause of death” in the United States. Nearly a quarter of us have already been infected—one in three of us by the time we hit our fifties. Although we may then be stuck with this thing in our brain for life, our immune system is so good at keeping it at bay, for most healthy people it’s never able to rear its ugly head—or at least overtly: “studies have now revealed associations between [toxoplasma infection] and the presence of various psychiatric disorders in humans”—schizophrenia, bipolar, suicide, self-harm, and memory impairment when we get older. How can a tiny parasite alter our very behavior?

I talked about how the rabies virus hangs out in the saliva, while specifically targeting the emotion center of the brain to drive animals into a fury, so they’ll effectively do the virus’s bidding to bite others to transmit the virus; or the famous zombie-ant brain fungus that takes over the animal completely. These are examples of so-called parasitic manipulation, where the parasite manipulates the host to “[enhance] its own transmission by altering host behavior.” And toxoplasma is “perhaps one of the most convincing examples of a manipulative parasite of [higher animals, like us].”

Since the parasite thrives in cats, “chronically infected rodents no longer respond to cat odour with fear and indeed the physical response is reversed to attraction.” Mice become attracted to the smell of cats, serving the parasite up on a silver platter. The parasite manipulates the rodent’s brain to turn “their innate aversion to cats into a ‘suicidal’ ‘fatal feline attraction.’” Mice become attracted to cat pee, and such fatal feline attraction appears specific towards cats. They don’t become attracted to pee in general. They remain indifferent to rabbit pee, and continue to be turned off by other predator pee. So, on one hand, the parasitic manipulation appears incredibly specific, but the parasite doesn’t just want the mouse to seek out the cat, but get eaten as well. And so, there are these general effects too: impaired motor function, slower response times, “memory, and co-ordination.” And so, when the cat pounces, the parasite tries to make sure the mouse doesn’t get away. It’s like when California sea otters get toxoplasma, they’re more likely to get eaten by a shark. It’s not that the parasite wants to get into the shark—it may just be a by-product of the kind of general cognitive deficits that is so helpful for the parasite in other contexts.

It’s like when humans get toxoplasma, we start liking the smell of cat pee more, too. Isn’t that wacky? The parasite knows just what strings to pull. But it’s the more general effects we’re concerned about. We don’t need to worry our newfound appreciation for saber-tooth tiger urine is going to get us eaten, but mucking with our reaction times, that could be a problem. That could be why multiple studies have shown more traffic and worksite accidents among those that are chronically infected. But it may not just be our slowed reaction time. The parasite appears to also affect “subtle behavioural alterations,” like personality alterations that make us more likely to take risks. Great for the parasite in the cat-and-mouse game, but not so much if we’re driving a car, or wondering whether or not to take that next drink. Maybe one reason people with this brain parasite get into so many car accidents is that it may make people engage in riskier behaviors, like excessive alcohol consumption.

We typically think of malaria as being humanity’s greatest killer parasite. “However, when we take into account the hundreds of thousands of deaths that occur due to the increased probability of traffic accidents, working accidents, suicides, and possibly also other side effects of the infection,” maybe this supposed “’asymptomatic’ latent toxoplasma infection [that has infested one in four Americans] could easily take malaria down [a notch].” Before I get into how to prevent and treat the darn thing, what might these other side effects be?

How exactly does toxoplasma manipulate behavior? Well, one clue we got decades ago is the rise in dopamine levels in the brain. You can show it right in a petri dish of infected brain tissue. Turns out that these parasites actually have an enzyme to make dopamine from scratch, which they then release into the surrounding brain tissue. Why do we care? Because elevated dopamine is a characteristic of schizophrenia. That’s how nearly all modern antipsychotic drugs work, by trying to bring dopamine levels back down—”either inhibit[ing] dopamine receptors or decreas[ing] the level of dopamine in the brain.”

Is it “possible that the increased dopamine accumulation and release observed during [toxoplasma] infection” might increase the risk of schizophrenia? Well, that should be easy to figure out. I mean, do schizophrenics have an increased prevalence of infection? “The increased prevalence of toxoplasmosis in schizophrenics [has been] demonstrated by at least 50 studies.”

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Image credit: CDC/Dr. L.L. Moore, Jr. via publicdomainfiles. Image has been modified.

Motion graphics by Avocado Video

Doctor's Note

And remember, chronic infection is not rare—nearly one in four American adults and adolescents are already infected. If that surprises you, you may have missed the first video of this four-part series. Check out Toxoplasmosis: A Manipulative Foodborne Brain Parasite and stay tuned for Does Toxoplasmosis Cause Schizophrenia? and How to Prevent Toxoplasmosis.

If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my videos for free by clicking here.

127 responses to “Long-Term Effects of Toxoplasmosis Brain Infection

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  1. Okay, this seems to suggest that a cure for at least some schizophrenia would be to eliminate the toxoplasmosis. But then in the case of Parkinson’s there seems to be a dopamine deficit. At the very least this has interesting possibilities.

    1. Good point, because in Dr. Greger’s own book How Not to Die, there is a whole chapter on Parkinson’s as being from mainly heavy metal toxicity. No mention of parasites.

    2. My very thought too – I have a relative who has Parkinson’s. So would deliberately giving toxoplasmosis to Parkinson’s patients increase their dopamine? The side effect of being risk-averse might nix that idea, but if a bug can cause the manufacture of dopamine, surely that’s something that ought to be investigated. The medicines for Parkinson’s have not very nice side-effects.

      1. Deidre, please forget the idea that giving toxoplasmosis to someone will help Parkinson’s. I sincerely hope that is addressed in these famous upcoming videos.

        As we wait for that, please look up Rock Steady Boxing as a definite therapy for Parkinson’s. Therapy, not cure per se. They have a website listing location of the classes. My husband was diagnosed with Parkinson’s a year ago and has reversed his symptoms since beginning these classes. Movement is the key. He does the RSB classes plus stationary biking three times a week, plus the lowest level of carbadopa/levodopa daily. There is a lady in wheelchair in his class who is now happily able to stand and move while boxing.

        As Dr. Greger’s book relates, there may be nutritional and/or heavy metal causes of Parkinson’s. But Rock Steady Boxing is a proven therapy.

      2. ཡིས་ཅོམཔལརཛ་ཉིཏཅ པའརཀིནསོནཛ ཏཧརཏར ིས འ དེགིཅིཏ བེའཅའུསེ ཏགེ དོཔའམུནང པརོདུཅིནང ཅེལལས གའཙེ བེེན ངའམའཧེས དེུ ཏོ ོཛིདའཏུཙེ སཏརེསས་ འསསིཏིོབའལ སའཔའམིནེ མའཡ འཅཏུའལལི ེཛའཛཛེརབའཏེ ཏགེ དིསེའཛེ འས ཏགེ བེཉའཀདོཉན ོང དོཔའམིནེ ིཔརོདུཅཏ ིས རགེ ོཛིདུསེར་ མོརེ དོཔྨིནེ མོརེ དའམའགེད ནེུརོནས་ ངིཧུརིནག་ོུར གོཉ ཏོ སཔེེད ུཔ་ཅལེའརིནག ོང རགེ བེཉའཀ དོཉན པརོདུཅཏས ིས ཅཏིཡིཛའལ ཏོ འུརེ པའརཀིནསོནས࿂

  2. It is of course misleading to talk about the virus wanting us to do something, or getting us to do its bidding. This implies that it is conscious, deliberate behaviour. I appreciate that this is probably being done for dramatic effect ………… but there is always someone who will take it literally.

    1. It does not imply consciousness, it implies evolution. In evolution the amount of failures over time of viruses that did not manipulate the brains of the host did not survive. Those that did, did survive and as they evolved even more the ones that did got even better at manipulating the behavior of the hosts in their favor and are what we see today.

      1. That’s a good description of what has been dubbed “micro” evolution, which is a testable, verifiable fact. Those mutations of the organism that enabled it to reproduce more effectively were favored by natural selection – or said another way – whichever mutation leaves behind more offspring becomes the dominant organism. That’s observable in many other cases, such as the Peppered Moths of Europe.

        However, I tend to wonder, perhaps along with Mr. FF, if there isn’t some speculation surrounding how effective this parasite is at manipulating brain chemistry so as to induce dramatic behavioral modifications. It’s one thing to observe (during a study) that mice get sluggish when infected with this parasite; but is it a speculative jump to conclude that the parasite manipulated behavior for the sake of advancing its own survival? Or, how can we “know” that infected mice abruptly change their affinity to cat pee? What do we do: ask them?

        I think that’s what Mr. FF was suggesting, and I agree.

        1. I agree with Mr. FF also.
          Is this just offering one more excuse for people to be ‘victims’. “It’s not my fault I’m irresponsible, the parasite made me do it”.

          1. Marilyn,

            Having gone through serious brain conditions, I am not against giving the true reasons for people’s behaviors.

            I am against using the “victim” and “responsibility” thing for people who are genuinely out of their minds.

            My friend’s schizophrenic son tried to kill his father when he was out of his mind. For the past decades, he has not been out of his mind and NOW he IS a fairly responsible person, but he couldn’t possibly take responsibility for anything the night he tried to kill his father.

            He has never harmed anyone else before or after that night.

            When I lost my brain, I can’t even describe how poorly my cognitive functioning was and how hard it was to process any information. I still only have 5% function in my prefrontal cortex test and 27% in my sense of time passing. Nowadays, I can know that a year will pass and I don’t know that any time passed at all and now that I have learned that, I have also learned to adapt, but there were years when I wasn’t even aware of that much and could not possibly take responsibility in that area.

            1. I was talking to a very precious woman a few days ago and her son was murdered by a homeless man who was out of his mind.

              He will be incarcerated and might have his brain improve by meds or something, but that murder happened because his brain felt that the young man was attacking him.

              It might take years before he ever finds out that he wasn’t being attacked.

        2. We know that mice abruptly change their behavior based on their actions. If a mouse in a maze prefers to sit in the area where cat urine was sprayed again and again, it would be obvious that those mice are attracted to the one factor that is different. Of course humans do not talk to animals.

          We also already know that male humans who have toxo do not have as strong a dislike for the smell of cat urine.
          “Infected men rated this odour as more pleasant than did the noninfected men, while infected women rated the same odour as less pleasant than did noninfected women. Toxoplasmosis did not affect how subjects rated the pleasantness of any other animal species’ urine odour; however, a non-significant trend in the same directions was observed for hyena urine.”
          https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22087345

          What else are they affecting in the human brain?

          1. [If a mouse in a maze prefers to sit in the area where cat urine was sprayed again and again, it would be obvious that those mice are attracted to the one factor that is different.]

            I can see how researchers might come to this conclusion, but it’s still speculative and circumstantial, not empirical. We speculate that the mice prefer the scent of cat urine and stay in close proximity. We don’t “know” until we can test something else. Maybe if we could get a brain scan of a mouse that really “likes” something (if that could be determined) and compare that against the urine exposure… Circumstantial evidence is subjective; it’s open to varying interpretations.

            1. From https://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/circumstantial+evidence :

              The following examples illustrate the difference between direct and circumstantial evidence: If John testifies that he saw Tom raise a gun and fire it at Ann and that Ann then fell to the ground, John’s testimony is direct evidence that Tom shot Ann. If the jury believes John’s testimony, then it must conclude that Tom did in fact shoot Ann. If, however, John testifies that he saw Tom and Ann go into another room and that he heard Tom say to Ann that he was going to shoot her, heard a shot, and saw Tom leave the room with a smoking gun, then John’s testimony is circumstantial evidence from which it can be inferred that Tom shot Ann. The jury must determine whether John’s testimony is credible.

      2. Jimbo,
        No, statements such as “but the parasite doesn’t just want the mouse to seek out the cat,“ or “do its bidding”, if taken literally, do imply conscious intent on the part of particular pathogens, just as FF said.

        1. I am reading these comments as well as transcript in an attempt to source the impulse origin of a manipulative parasite, because it might be that a viral tribe manifests due to a trauma, like murder or clear cutting, as the case may be. I feel that cat urine scent is a good clue toward meditating upon the source of trauma. Cat pee can smell like lovely, fresh evergreens.
          If this parasite needs a host it might be from the destruction of forest by fire, cutting of Christmas trees, or from other tribes whose nesting is disrupted.
          My intention is to suggest a remedy through sound ecologization, if this be possible.
          I believe any manipulative invader like this is evidence of a haunt.
          When a Phantasm occurs, it is black because of unendurable pain. To order it to leave just makes it an amalgam of tribal patterns in remembrance of pain, very unhappy.
          So, if you imagine that you are healing a soul, surround the Phantasm with sky blue light, also sympathy and loving kindness, the enzymes and insects which can make a haunt dangerous will disperse.
          Loving kindness can work better than Detail, sometimes.
          I worry so much about the PTSD suicides of our soldiers or officers, as well as the deaths and injuries caused by young snipers, especially in schools. Understanding this colossal strike upon North America immune system might be key for all of us to unlock the senseless violence and impulsivity, in order to settle and heal society better.

      3. I understand your point but the terms ‘want’ and ‘bidding’ do not imply evolution. They imply volition. Which is my point.

    2. Mr FF,

      I agree with you about this.

      To assume that the toxoplasmosis had a higher intelligence, which said, “Boy, let’s have this mouse become attracted to cat pee and then, it will die and I will live.” is a stretch beyond the current evidence.

    3. I could do without the dramatic effect–even without taking it literally–this series is creepy enough. It sounds so science-fiction-y… I kind of don’t like the style used in this series so far, normally not a quality I complain about. Maybe they were having a bit of fun with it which I could appreciate a bit on my end, but I think people could take this too far, possibly. A large portion of the public isn’t exactly the “stop and think first” type.

    1. Online I easily find study after study (from non .com sources which often are useless) backing that several mental abnormalities may be the result of toxo.

      1. So what? The only relevant question is the quality of a study. There are lots of studies with terrible designs, flawed analyses, etc. Quantity is, strictly speaking, irrelevant.

    2. n, thank you for posting this article. It describes a well done study by a very reputable institution.
      Frankly, I find this particular video totally useless. There are no solutions offered even if this theory were true.

    3. Yes “n”, this Mayo Clinic study should be addressed by Dr. Greger if his presentation is valid. Thank you for posting this. Plus it says as much as one-third of population may be infected with toxo but asymptomatic. One-third of us are not also schizophrenic.

  3. https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0148435

    “Our results suggest that a positive test for T. gondii antibodies does not result in increased susceptibility to neuropsychiatric disorders, poor impulse control or impaired neurocognitive ability. Moreover, we found no association between seropositivity and aberrant personality functions.”…

    “In contrast to previous studies, we did not observe a significant association between T. gondii seropositivity and schizophrenia. Approximately 40 reports have now been published showing links between schizophrenia and/or psychotic symptoms and infection status, leading to the suggestion that psychosis-spectrum conditions are a consequence of infection. Biological pathways have been proposed and pursued, centering on the schizophrenia-linked candidate neurotransmitter dopamine; in rodents, infection with T. gondii leads to aberrant dopamine signaling [35] and reduced expression of genes within the dopamine pathway, such as DRD1, DRD5 and MAOA [36]. However, we found no link to schizophrenia or its associated neuropsychological deficits in our cohort.”…

    “In conclusion, our data do not support the hypothesis that infection by T. gondii is related to negative behavioral outcomes in a population-representative cohort of early middle-aged individuals. In the presence of conflicting reports, better research designs are needed to fully establish the extent to which T. gondii influences impairments in brain and behavior phenotypes.”

    1. “The increased prevalence of toxoplasmosis in schizophrenics was demonstrated by at least 50 studies.”

      And the one study you cited showed no association. So 50:1 odds.

      1. The 1 study is specifically dealing with middle-aged people.

        I wonder why.

        That is interesting to me because middle-aged criminals often mellow out.

        1. I’m wondering if it could be possible that people who are schizophrenic have a propensity to like cats for some reason and then become infected. That is, which came first? The schizophrenia? or the cat-liking and subsequent infection?

          Just wondering….

          1. This getting sort of hilarios. Which came first. A mouse, or a crazy cat lady. And how did nobody mention oxytocin, just to throw the God molecule in, for fun and therapeuric belly laughs, anyway for the vagus-nerve nuts?

          2. Cats are the most popular household “pet.” I think there would be a pattern of schizophrenia and a majority of the population who lives with cats and even those who work in veterinary offices or animal shelters.

    2. By being present in small rodents, like voles, influencing their behaviour when they suddenly decide to hide in the human physique?
      In the country I have often had internalizing voles and their infants, but only once did I nearly die from a herd of them in the filthy city. I could not stop bleeding from the rectum, and it smelled like a period. The tiny rodents had actually bitten into my intestine.
      There are happy campers in the animal kingdom who will humbly be compliant when asked quietly to leave, but maybe marauding and traumatized wildlife could be steered by this kind of parasite.
      Noting whether the victim keeps cats or evergreens might help.

  4. This time I won’t make the mistake of looking at those unpleasant images ,I will read the transcript instead! Couldn’t unsee those images in the previous video on Toxoplasmosis.

    1. Agreed the 5/20 video was overly dramatic, and really not the best strategy to unload on the general public. People have a tendency for excessive worry – no need to add gasoline to the fire. Just look at the stock market, and notice how the Fed has learned to be very pragmatic and avoid words that inspire panic.

      BTW no horror type photos included in this video. My vote would be to either delete or redo the 1st edition video on this topic.

      1. This subject goes into another topic, and could be an idea for a future health video. The effects of violence in TV and it’s impact on the general public. When I look at all the self destructive tendencies in our communities, those that top the list are:

        TV, diet, alcohol, drugs (both pharmaceutical and recreational) and the last is hard to put into a single word, so here are several: a child being raised without a mother at home, divorce, the disintegration of gender roles, and the loss of community.

        People wonder why their are mass shootings, and come up with solutions that don’t address the real issues. The mind, body and emotions are all tied together, and society and it’s chosen pastimes, diet and lifestyle are creating the perfect storm!

      2. I would like to see studies concerning conservatism…war mongering…anti-abortionism… and global warming denial….as in what nutritional factors and possible infections are correlated with these behavioral issues?

        1. manny, someone expresses opinions you don’t agree with and you turn it into some political nonsense? Especially bizarre when you start ranting about abortion which isn’t a political issue but an issue on life more complex than the extremities of the political left or right. This really isn’t the place for this. Let’s be mature please.

  5. So the operative questions become… #1: How does one determine if they are a subject of toxoplasmosis infection?; #2: What is the prescribed treatment for the infection once identified?; #3: What is the efficacy of the treatment?

    1. #4: What are the side effects of the treatment? i.e. are they worse than the Toxoplasmosis ?

      Treatments available are drugs for Schizophrenia and Bipolar Disorder.
      But derivatives of Artemisinin , as well as Piper betle leaf extract also show an ability to inhibit Toxoplasma gondii replication.

      1. Louis, there is also a supplement that uses herbals as mentioned that are known to help. It is called ParaComplete by Progressive Nutracare. It should be looked at if you are wondering about alternatives to those very dangerous drugs.

      2. According to CDC currently recommended treatment drugs for toxoplasmosis: Adults: pyrimethamine 100 mg for 1 day as a loading dose, then 25 to 50 mg per day, plus sulfadiazine 2 to 4 grams daily for 2 days, followed by 500mg to 1 gram dose four times per day, plus folinic acid (leucovorin) 5-25 mg with each dose of pyrimethamine;

        Common side effects pyrimethamine may include: vomiting; or loss of appetite.

        Common side effects of Silver Sulfadiazine include: pain burning itching rash cell death of the skin localized eruption of the skin transient skin discoloration destruction of red blood cells (in patients with G6PD deficiency) deficiency of granulocytes in the blood discontinued production of blood cells low blood platelet count low white blood cell count dermatologic and hypersensitivity reactions (Stevens-Johnson syndrome, TEN)
        adverse gastrointestinal effects inflammation of the liver (hepatitis) toxic injury to the liver adverse nervous system effects acute kidney failure
        swelling in the kidney burning sensation presence of harmful bacteria via infection of a wound (sepsis)

        Common side effects of Leucovorin include: hives, infection, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, oral inflammation or cold sores, fatigue,
        hair loss, or loss of appetite

  6. I almost unsubscribed because of this. A particular researcher pushes this as kind of his branding. I do not find him credible. I will not name him here, as I do not wish to promote him in any way. Suffice it to say, he is not popular in the Re-Thinking Psychiatry community in Portland, Oregon. So many factors can affect the axes and the systems in the body. So many individuals respond so differently, in feedback loops. I find this demonization of cats and small organisms to be hyped silliness. Lyme co-infections are tiny, and can hide out in organelles inside cells, and can cause cytokine storms, when weakened immune systems allow them out from hiding. We can look at titers of certain factors to help figure out how to strengthen immune systems strategically, reactions already explored in many ancient systems of medicine. Demonizing just one larger factor when smaller ones remain under the radar seems patently unreasonable to me. I used a word with patent in it on purpose.

    1. Mary,

      I maybe do understand that you aren’t worried about this and think it is not necessary to deal with it, though if 1 in 4 people have it, maybe those people would disagree with you.

      I have zero interest in Lyme disease because of all the drama on the internet which just seems blown out of proportion, but it is one of those things where maybe if I had it, I would understand the drama.

      1. I guess I should re-word that.

        I have had friends and coworkers who had Lyme Disease diagnosed by a doctor. One of them lived in Old Lyme. They were treated by medical and I am not against any of that.

        It is the whole online thing that reminds me of the alternative cancer community with things like Apricot Kernels and all sorts of things communicated so sketchily. I don’t mind people being treated for things and learning things about Lyme or this.

        I just find Lyme online to be one of those topics which come across as so sketchy most of the time.

        1. Mary,

          I am sorry if I have worded that insensitively. I do have friends and coworkers who have Lyme. I also have people with schizophrenia and this topic is one I have looked up before years ago because there was a link to having cats as children and schizophrenia, and those families did have cats.

          In fact, counselors have instructed a friend who has an older child with schizophrenia to get a “therapy cat” for her younger child, in part to help the child deal with the trauma of things which happened because of the one with schizophrenia.

          That is something that I would wonder about the wisdom.

          Plus, all the elderly people. If it doesn’t have effects on people with strong immune systems, but starts to with people with HIV or elderly, then it is something we should learn about.

          1. I am elderly, well, 69. I have a pretty strong immune system, over all, but I did have a 10-cm tumor, double mestectomy, and 30 lymph nodes removed, 19 years ago. I too skip Lyme stuff mostly, except where it intersects with the work of Lynn Margolis, who kicked butt at Oxford, showing a room full of of privileged men, with video, that spirochetes evolved by cooperating.
            I can’t tell you how much I love that video and how many times I have tried to get people to watch it. The strongest often get picked off. Why don’t more people understand this? At any rate, she and Lovelock made a splash, as this posting has. If you want clicks, throw some thing controversial out, like shark bait. If ony humans were more like orangatans than sharks.
            Cyanobacteria are fascinating. I am so glad such a brilliant woman as Lynn Margulis decided to study them. She was not afraid to stand up with these little guys, by herself in a tough room.

    2. Calling a body of evidence that you do not like (and wish to ignore/minimise) ‘demonising’ is a common tactic among alternative health types.

      However, most people accept that closing one’s eyes to unpleasant evidence is neither sensible nor helpful.

      1. Blaming disease on cats is not new. Cats and women have been blamed in history. I hear your disdain. I am used to that also. Correlation in population studies can be presented by advantaged cohorts when it serves their purposes. I do not know anyone who loves the smell of cat pee. I find that proposed mechanism of action to be ridiculous. I remember not wanting to clean the box over 40 years ago when pregnant, but I did it anyway.
        Asserting that cats are responsible for behavior issues that can be affected by inflammatory process in the nervous system, when so many other factors can be implicated, is not responsible. As for toxo, it may be detected while co-infections are not, and some factors are cumulative and synergistic, while others buffer out harmful factors in blood and lymph. A healthy immune system, primed with the substrates for making appropriate immune factors, is necessary for peak health. Present practice does not pay sufficient attention to those factors that promote peak health.

        1. Simply accepting the fact that cats are commonly infected with this parasite is not blaming cats for the disease. What would you have people do? Censor all references to cats when discussing toxoplasmosis? Nobody except you has suggested that cats are responsible for people’s behaviour issues.

          In any case, everybody says that the most common source of infection in humans is undercooked food not cat faeces..

          I don’t think that the “I am woman I am victim’ approach adds much to the discussion either. Attempting to win arguments on the basis of cod political correctness instead of actual facts is more likely to obscure a subject than iluminate it.

  7. too scary and a “hook” to get you to keep waiting/reading more. Very unkind to readers. Just tell us already!

    1. If I were in a hurry I would quickly realize that this website talks about research on topics that is already done, meaning searchable.

      1. Yes, people can go to PubMed and try to read the science themselves, which is a much harder process and it is often not entertaining at all, but the information is there.

        I find that I have learned how the system here works and that is enough to wait for the series to finish for most topics.

        People really seem to struggle with that.

        Other doctors put up hour-long talks about topics. I just like this format and learn better in small snippets.

        Learning is important to me. I think many people just want a “to do” list.

      2. Yeah, searchable to go sift through scientific literature which is written so dry that it’s been described as sleep-inducing even by a scientist! And that’s assuming you can understand it in its entirety in the first place which takes an education in and of itself. Then of course you have to be able to know how to identify holes in a study and really understand what makes a thorough study so you can give credit where credit is due and not take to heart a poorly put together study. And that’s assuming, too, that you have access to the full publications to each study which the public doesn’t always have access to. So you’re talking dedicating your life to research the way Dr. Greger does, and first having a good education in that research so as to interpret it optimally. Give me a break… And OF COURSE these videos (or any video or any article) is going to be on PUBLISHED studies because you can only report on what exists….

  8. When i was pregnant with my son 31 years ago i was told i had toxoplasmosis. I had to wait 2 weeks to see if it was active or inactive. It was inactive. No one told me there was anything to be concerned about. Do i need to see a doctor?

    1. Patty,

      The next videos will be coming next Monday and Wednesday.

      It is something most people probably don’t have to worry about until their immune system gets weak, so building up your immune system sounds like a good idea no matter what.

      But Dr. Greger will give his official answer about the rest of it next week.

    2. I was a crazy cat lady way before I had my first. He has a Ph.D. from MIT, which I call his Piled Higher and Deeper, which he takes with a laugh.
      Women, and others, like Stephanie Seneff and Russell Blaylock, two researchers who differ with each other publicly on some issues, are doing very interesting work on understanding the mechanics of the immune system better. I hope young mothers do not worry too much about this. There are ways to strengthen immune response without tipping it into anaphylaxis or auto-immune chronic illness. It requires careful research, but it is available.

      1. I have looked at Stephanie Seneff’s thoughts on autism. She believes that Roundup causes autism and drives people to commit homicide.

  9. “The effect of toxoplasma brain parasites can cause personality “alternations.” This sentence is at the top of the article.

    What are “alternations”?

  10. So what is the solution here. Seems like a lot of talk . I had a cousin who had schizophrenia an it had a lot to do with her upbringing An her crazy psychotic
    Mother who was my aunt. She was a really not job. She turned there poor girls to drugs an her health really deteriorated quickly an she passed away. Very sad

    1. Schizophrenia is a hard disease.

      Lots of schizophrenics do turn to drugs and there is often a which came first the chicken or the egg type of thing.

  11. I realize this brain-parasite subject is a very disturbing one (and rightly so!), but might I swerve off course a bit and ask Fumbles a frivolous question?

    Several times he’s admitted to occasionally treating himself to…..ice cream! Yes, indeed. Deb often gives heavy thought to much more serious subjects, but I’m wondering:

    Fumbles, what is your favorite flavor? Any particular brand name and is it organic? Curious minds wish to know. Back in the day, I used to like Breyers coffee ice cream. (If he answers this at all, am wondering if he’ll say it’s vanilla.)

    1. Welcome back (was it the crazy cat lady talk that drew you back in?).

      I am an equal opportunity ice cream eater but I usually go for the ‘mixed’ tubs on the occasions when the devil makes me eat ice cream. No partcular brands either..

      1. Hi, Tom, I never go back to eating ice cream although I was a lover of it previously. Now I freeze a couple bananas overnight and the next day, I put them in my high speed blender, usually with some cacao powder and some soy milk, about a half cup or so. I blend this to the consistency of a Dairy Queen, (or “soft serve,”) and then put a few dark sweet frozen cherries and maybe a walnut or two in and pulse just to chop them up. I find it a reasonable duplicate of my old favorite Ben & Jerry’s. I ate this every day one summer….

        1. Lisa,

          My husband used to really enjoy eating ice cream, but after listening to the videos as I watched them, he gave it up. On his own, voluntarily. But, though I really like your recipe, he doesn’t like bananas. Instead, he eats the soy yogurt I make at home, slightly sweetened with maple syrup, topped with a spoonful or two of crunchy granola.

          BTW, is your soy milk plain, or sweetened and/or flavored?

          1. It’s organic Edensoy, the yellow box–unsweetened–just soybeans and water….
            I don’t taste the bananas in ice cream unless it’s regular ice cream; then I recall, (from years ago,) that I could taste the bananas.

          2. Dr. J, this company sells an organic cashew ice cream with a lot purer ingredients (no oil, for one thing) than the ones I’m able to find in stores: http://www.organicnectars.com/products.html

            I haven’t tried their ice cream yet but I’ve been wanting to for a long time, I like their company as I spoke to the woman before and they seem to have a lot of integrity.

            Here is something I did try, though, and it’s AMAZING… more like a “frosty” than ice cream, but the taste is incredible and it’s 100% WFPB (I even just blend up hemp seeds and water for the plant milk): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=odZWYI_b0Xc

        2. Thanks Liisa

          Yes, I try to keep banana ice cream on hand too. However, i have school age step-children and we buy them ice cream occasionally. My wife gets some for me too and I am not always strong enough to resist especially when there is banana ice cream in the freezer.

          1. When I think of Campbell’s work with casein, I ask myself if I’d rather have OR cancer. That does the trick 99% of the time–because in 2001, I HAD cancer–and I don’t want to get it again, and I’m probably at increased risk due to radiation….

            1. Yes but I am not convinced by Campbell’s argument about casein and cancer.

              The evidence he cites relates to experiments with rats fed powerful carcinogenic chemicals. Humans are not rats and results from animal trials don’t alwats transfer to people.

              Some years ago, I did a search for evidence regarding casein consumption and cancer in humans. The studies I saw all failed to find a relationship – except for one that identified an association between casein consumption and advanced prostate cancer. That’s unlikely to be an issue in your case.

              It is also perhaps telling that nobody else – not Greger, Esselstyn, Ornish, Fuhrman, McDougaall etc – repeats Campbell’s argument that casein increases cancer risk.

              Anyway, that is neither here nor there since I am much more worried about the fat and sugar in dairy ice cream.

              1. Wow! Knowing you from this site, I’m surprised at your evaluation.
                Whether the particulars of casein and cancer are true or not to *you,* there are multiple reasons to avoid dairy even so, and those have been mentioned in multiple places including McDougall’s site, for one–(in which he also alleges a connection between dairy and cancer.) These are not hard to find.

                Virus-free.
                http://www.avast.com

                Virus-free.
                http://www.avast.com

                1. I absolutely agree. The casein cancer claim just doesn’t seem to be one of them though (prostate cancer excepted)

                  1. Tom, of course I know about anecdotes, but here goes: my parents reacted to the “fat” scare when we were kids. Therefore, we all went on skim milk at *every* meal and “cut off the fat” from our meats. Years later? 4 of the 5 of us have dealt with cancer–every one of us having had a different cancer–and the fifth died of diabetic complications….

                    Virus-free.
                    http://www.avast.com

                    Virus-free.
                    http://www.avast.com

                  2. If you don’t completely eliminate milk products of all kinds from your diet, you will never fully get rid of your cravings, ice cream or otherwise. The cow hormones in milk are designed by nature to increase cravings in the calf for its mother’s milk. Hormones are enormously powerful in our bodily ecosystem. And if that isn’t enough for you, try visualizing the little calf torn from its mother and raised in cruel veal pens, while it’s mother cries for days for her calf. It takes awhile (maybe 6 weeks for some) to clear the cravings in entirety, but once accomplished you will never want to consume the mammary gland secretions of a cow again.

                    1. Thanks for giving me a good cry over this. . . Fortunately you rarely see veal sold, even in most meat markets. Now I’d walk out of a restaurant if I saw it there. Isn’t it illegal now?

                      I wonder how these hormones in cattle relate to what Temple Grandin saw in them, being terrified before inhumane slaughter. Wouldn’t those bad “terror” hormones get into their meat as well? So now the meat and milk are bad from moral reasons alone.

            2. I couldn’t imagine not eating cheese, sour cream, ice cream (until I very quickly realized that vegan ice cream tastes WAY better, not that I eat it anymore), etc. I would say I was addicted in that I was accustomed to the taste and habits and also probably literally addicted. The only way I was able to give it up permanently was because it was 100% about the animals. Learning where these things come from and how they get to the plate or bowl in front of us, changes everything.
              So when it was a moral issue and it didn’t matter how much I craved something initially because no way in hell would I ever eat another animal, it just became essential to find replacements for all those previous cravings. It worked brilliantly and I got healthier incidentally.
              So now I know about health and nutrition and my body at a cellular level and the thought of putting even vegan junk food in my mouth just doesn’t appeal to me in the least even if I try to allow it to… But, I don’t think I would have ever got to this point if it weren’t for the fact that there was just no such thing as eating animals as an option anymore. It’s poetic actually… caring about others can help save your own life.

          1. Thanks for posting this interview, Deb. I did not watch the entire interview, but I watched the part where he said a completely vegan diet has not been tested anywhere, and where he talks about getting your levels run for zinc, DHA, and B12. I know from the lived experience of a friend, and from research I heard about in a talk at Oregon Health Sciences University, that embolisms and other serious issues can be challenges for some genomes who try to go vegan. He talks about later in the interview. He talks about harm to the brain, in the category of other damage than cardiovascular, but CV damage is also in the literature. This damage can happen at alarmingly young ages. Maybe a person can get get levels run with somebody like Dr.
            Hyman of the Cleveland Clinic, and in other highly specialized locations, but a person would have to be a deep researcher to find practitioners who do this. I asked a prominent vegan doctor in Portland about it. He said you can get supplements for B12, which probably work for him and his family, so he perhaps he thinks that is good enough, based on his own experience. I do not think it is good enough for everybody. I have turned off notification of comments because I need to get other things done, but I have appreciated the information here that I found to be substantive.

            1. Mary, there is an overwhelming amount of evidence that our physiology is designed for a completely plant based diet and that our bodies thrive from eating plants. Yes, actually, a completely “vegan” diet has been looked into, and it has been the only diet proven to reverse our biggest killer: heart disease. But if the growing and already overwhelming data isn’t good enough for you for some reason (yet oddly the overwhelming data of animal consumption causing harm to the human body seems to hold little relevance to you), don’t worry… given the massive increase in vegan, plant based, and WFPB diets, there will be all the evidence even you will need to be convince, soon enough.

              1. Dr. Fuhrman explains a phenomenon I know about from a presentation by a very sophisticated researcher in a talk at OHSU. Challenges with micronutrients can be very difficult for some vegans, with challenges that are life-risking. I know about a case in which a strict vegan suffered a pulmonary embolism, a very serious one, at a young age. Veganism appears to work well for some genomes. For other ones, not so much yet, until ways to supplement are worked out. I have wondered if mushrooms might provide some of the factors that some individuals have been unable to absorb from a purely plant-based diet, but that research is not yet done. Population studies give clues as to what requires further research. False and broken placebos and other problems with randomized clinical trials are less of an an issue with population studies. I am interested in mechanism of action research, which is becoming more feasible with imaging advances. If strict veganism works for you, that is great. I have tried many times, and I have not been able to overcome health challenges from that kind of diet. I am an older person with low blood-pressure issues in a warm climate. I have a mixed diet, mostly plant-based that has worked well in the past few years.
                I hope you watch for the clues of problems and that you get tested for B12, zinc, omega 3’s and any other factors that are important to watch for health to make sure your diet is working for your individual genome.

                1. Mary, human physiology does not differ from person to person. Veganism works well for everyone so long as they’re eating a blanched WFPB diet, getting enough calories, and supplementing with B12. Some may find they do optimally supplementing with an algae based DHA/EPA supplement or vitamin d (if unable to get adequate sun). You don’t not absorb nutrients from a purely plant based (and natural to our physiology) diet, we absorb them the way our bodies were designed to. It’s the absorption of minerals from animal products that we need to worry about as we absorb them, in some cases, uncontrollably resulting in toxicity or problems down the line possibly including Alzheimer’s disease.

                  You say you have “tried” many times… that can mean so many things; there are so many factors… For one thing, it can take time for our microbiome to adjust so some may need to actually introduce more and more plants to their diet slowly before going fully plant based. Plus, it can really be anecdotal. A lot of people like the taste and habits of eating animal products so a lot of people are more inclined to report “feeling better” when they eat some of them.

                  No, I don’t watch or get tested for anything anymore because I no longer need to, not even regular dental x-rays because that is how healthy my body has become. I take a B12 supplement which likely means I have a lot more B12 in me than those relying on animal products to get their B12 because 1) if you get B12 through farmed animals, you’re getting it from a supplement that was first fed to the animals and 2) when you get B12 via ingestion it is not always properly absorbed depending on how healthy someone’s digestive tract is and perhaps other factors.
                  I do not supplement with algae oil or any omega-3 oil. I eat flax, hemp, walnuts, rarely chia seeds, seaweeds, tons of leafy greens, and even purslane which contains EPA according to what I’ve read on pubmed.

                  You have a lot of idealism in your posts about plant based diets with mountains of science hanging over your head contradicting that idealism.

                  1. I also meant to elaborate on my omega-3 point that I get much more omega-3’s than the average “omnivorous” dieter. And it’s the ALA that benefits the heart.

        1. Am happy that you found this video, Deb. I’ll watch it later today.

          As a New Yorker/Jersey Boy, I’m sure Dr. F. can very well “hold his own.”

      2. Thanks for your response, Fumbles. Here are two more questions that I’m pretty sure you won’t answer (truthfully):

        How often does the devil make you do this despicable thing? Several or more times a week? How large is the portion? Are we talkin’ a teeny-tiny half-cup (most unlikely), or a soup bowl piled high to the ceiling? :-)

        Speaking of kitties: https://www.foodsafetynews.com/2019/05/cat-tb-cases-linked-to-raw-pet-food-people-also-sick/

        (As for so-called schizo cat owners, have you ever watched those “happy vegan” type videos? Lots of “vegans” are owned by cats. As I always say, anybody who likes cats can’t be ALL bad.)

        1. AhHa, just as I thought! He’s pretending he didn’t see my “two more questions” post.

          That’s all right, Fumbles; I certainly approve. We need to take off our scratchy hair shirts once in a while. Life can be too dreary if we don’t have a little something to look forward to. Like ice cream. *_^

          1. YR

            I’m not pretending anything. Your post was just a little odd ….. ‘I’m pretty sure you won’t answer (truthfully):’ !!!!!

            If that’s what you think, why bother asking in the first place? Also, if that’s what you think, why should I bother answering?

            As I wrote, odd.

            Of course, I could answer your questions. But then I would have to silence you forever to keep my ‘secret’ safe.

            1. Touche’! As you know, there are a lot of oddballs at this ‘ere joint…you being one of them. :-)

              “Everyone’s Crazy But Me ‘n Thee (& I’m not too sure about Thee).”

              1. Tsk, tsk. Why so coy?

                The expression is “All the world is queer save thee and me, and even thou art a little queer.

                As for oddballs, there was a lad at my high school who had three testicles. I’m not in the same class … and wasn’t then either, literally or metaphorically.

        2. With most of the country owning animals, I wonder “how many diseases” we will learn comes from them?

          My daughter has a little dog, that she often “feeds from her plate.” She’s had this dog for 10 years & was recently diagnosed with cancer… Makes me wonder…

          1. First, she should stop feeding her dog from her plate. That is going to harm pets, sometimes fatally (garlic will kill cats). A company called Vitality Science in Arizona has been selling great dog and cat natural supplements. My cat with IBD has been transformed by their GI support help. Their recent email talks about cancer (in pets, of course). Both turmeric, for one, and CBD oil for another, have both shown great help. It is worth looking at for humans as well. As with toxoplasmosis, so with cancer: immune system health is key.

            Indeed, we are eagerly awaiting Dr. Greger’s solution next week to this massive worldwide pandemic. Looks like 1/3 of population will be coming down with schizophrenia.

    2. Laughing at the vanilla question.

      My uncle always only ate vanilla.

      Mostly, he worked in a store where ice cream was made and flavors were mixed in and he said, “If you saw it, you would only eat vanilla, too.”

      He went on to make watches for decades after that and has been retired for many more decades, but when I went to his house recently, it was ice cream that he offered. Yes, vanilla.

  12. I’ve had toxoplasma in my eye for over 15 years I have a scare very close to my retina which I’m basically blind in that eye but I used to go to a eye doctor specialist every year to check on the toxo to see if it was “active” or “unactive” I went through many test and such. After watching this video i tend to notice a few things that were mentioned. I DEF hate the smell of cat pee hahaha but do find my self a bit daredevil ish. I noticed in the video they mainly spoke about toxo as a brain issue since I have it in my eye does it effect my brain as spoken in this video?

  13. Fascinating as always but need to temper wildly speculative “plausible” causality with schizophrenia ( a conditon effecting 1% of the worlds population equally prevalent among all population/ racial/ethnic groups). Well conducted neuropsychologic assessments demonstrating impairments in rmotor coordination, executive function, morbidity/mortality due to accidents and/or interpersonal relationships would be ground breaking and pave the way for large scale public health campaign aimed at both prevention and assessing whether large scale treatment/ follow-up of “asymptomatic” individuals indicated. This less attention grabbing than schizophrenia

  14. Someone posted a link above that focused on proper meat preparation to avoid the infection and then at the very, very bottom, spoke about washing hands after cleaning cat litter… well, duh. All within reason–except we shouldn’t be eating meat in the first place–until one suggestion was not to adopt or rescue “stray cats”… that is absolutely appalling for a couple of reasons. First, morally: humans domesticate animals to keep “pets” then fail to act responsibly toward these animals leaving an epidemic of homeless cats and immense animal suffering… now, make sure you don’t help them or adopt them when in need; keep yourself in a plastic bubble and make sure you keep the most needy, out of it.
    Logically: humans have been among cats for… does anyone know how many years? since ancient times, anyway. Even before they were domesticated they hung around and helped farmers by hunting the small animals who fed on their crops which lead to their domestication. According to a documentary I recently saw, cats are the most popular household pet (I’m not sure if this was U.S or globally–didn’t watch the full documentary, it was in passing), animal doctors have been around for ages (some even specific to cats), and animal shelters have been around for a very long time as well. If cats were a relevant cause for humans contracting toxoplasmosis and it were anything worth considering, the world would have caught on before 2019 and youtube, especially considering studies (presented in “How Not To Die” as well) have shown that people with companion animals are healthier than those without them, so it’s not as though it hasn’t even been specifically looked into for that matter (I mean health and “pet owners”). Yes, don’t eat cat feces (or ideally any feces) and don’t eat food before washing your hands if you had cleaned feces of any variety, but apart from that, anything more is just taking it WAY too far. And really, if you looked at the handling and incidental consumption of feces of any animal, what more might we learn about? I’m sure we could terrify ourselves to an early death by looking into every microorganism and every pathway of it. I think common sense is really our best bet in cases like these… we’ve survived a long time relying on it. Obviously learning about consumption of undercooked meat and what might come along with it is important because this is information we should have been taught honestly about since birth. But instead, due to big animal agriculture, we’re lead to believe we’re omnivores capable of handling all that comes with meat (and other animal products) consumption.
    We can think in terms of how to avoid death, but that should never surpass how to live.

    1. A little bit of reality re: cats, from vets at Cornell. Want to be sure? Keep your cats indoors.

      https://www.vet.cornell.edu/departments-centers-and-institutes/cornell-feline-health-center/health-information/feline-health-topics/toxoplasmosis-cats

      “Prevention
      Reducing the incidence of toxoplasmosis in cats requires measures to reduce both exposure to infective oocysts and shedding of oocysts into the environment. Cats should preferably be fed commercially prepared, cooked foods (appropriate heating inactivates any T. gondii cysts that may be present) and should not be allowed to eat uncooked meat or intermediate hosts, such as rodents. They should also be denied access to facilities housing food-producing livestock and food storage areas.

      Because cats only shed the organism for a short time, the chance of human exposure via cats they live with is relatively small. Owning a cat does not mean you will be infected with Toxoplasma. Since it takes a minimum of 24 hours for T. gondii oocysts in cat feces to sporulate and become infective, frequent removal of feces from the litter box, while wearing gloves and washing hands afterward, minimizes the possibility of infection. It is unlikely that you would be exposed to the parasite by touching an infected cat, because they usually do not carry the parasite on their fur. It is also unlikely that you would become infected through cat bites or scratches. Indoor cats that do not hunt prey or consume raw meat are unlikely to be infected with T. gondii. In the U.S., people are much more likely to become infected by eating raw meat and unwashed fruits and vegetables than by handling cat feces. The possibility of infection after gardening in soil that has been contaminated with cat feces also exists, and this possibility can be mitigated by wearing gloves and by washing hands after gardening.“

      1. But one website also says to not walk barefoot on dirt or sand… therefore, do not tread the earth (unless wearing shoes, apparently also at the beach). It’s just ridiculous. Like seriously, being infected would be a better option, but I’m sure it’s not that easy anyway cause there’d be a lot more than 1 out of 4 infected if it were.

    1. No, Alex, you are not stuck with this until dead. They are not even sure what toxoplasmosis really means for humans. Look more closely at some of the real world studies and sites discussing this. Dr. Greger’s posting about this was needlessly inflammatory.

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