There are indications that the parasite causing toxoplasmosis, Toxoplasma gondii, could be used in the future in treatments to cure cancer. This is great news because toxoplasmosis is used as a rod to beat cats. It is a parasite which is frequently used as a reason to malign, denigrate, criticise and kill stray and feral cats. Perhaps this bit of research may help to quell that criticism.
Scientists at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire, USA have made a remarkable discovery. They did so while testing a vaccine made from the proteins of the toxoplasma gondii protozoan on mice which had skin and ovarian cancer. It was found that the parasite cause the immune system of the mice to attack the cancerous cells. It is believed that this may lead to a key to fighting other forms of cancer.
The authors of the study said:
“Our results demonstrate that specialised effector proteins secreted by T. gondii both before and after host cell invasion trigger and coordinatedly control the development of a potent anti-tumour response.”
“The T. gondii secreted effector proteins can reveal fundamental mechanisms controlling immunity to infection and can also identify relevant mammalian cell mechanisms as new targets for devising more effective therapies against highly aggressive solid tumours.”
I wish them well in their research. I would so love to see this parasite which is so closely associated to the cat become a tool in the fight against cancer. If it could be used to help save countless numbers of human lives and surely it would help stop cat haters criticising the cat spreading this parasite in their faeces.
Incidentally, it is worth reading my article about the truth about toxoplasmosis because cat haters highly exaggerate the impact of toxoplasmosis on human health.