Nov 27, 2018

Toxoplasmosis: A pathway to neuropsychiatric disorders

Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews
Shiraz TyebjiChristopher J Tonkin

Abstract

Toxoplasma gondii is an obligate intracellular parasite that resides, in a latent form, in the human central nervous system. Infection with Toxoplasma drastically alters the behaviour of rodents and is associated with the incidence of specific neuropsychiatric conditions in humans. But the question remains: how does this pervasive human pathogen alter behaviour of the mammalian host? This fundamental question is receiving increasing attention as it has far reaching public health implications for a parasite that is very common in human populations. Our current understanding centres on neuronal changes that are elicited directly by this intracellular parasite versus indirect changes that occur due to activation of the immune system within the CNS, or a combination of both. In this review, we explore the interactions between Toxoplasma and its host, the proposed mechanisms and consequences on neuronal function and mental health, and discuss Toxoplasma infection as a public health issue.

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Mentioned in this Paper

Biochemical Pathway
Immune System
Host-Parasite Interactions
Central Nervous System
Pathogenic Organism
Neurons
Entire Central Nervous System
Toxoplasma gondii
Mental Health
Neuronal

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