Infographic on toxoplasmosis and its zoonotic ability

Here are some notes on toxoplasmosis in an infographic. I have to be very selective on what to include and omit due to limited space. I have focused on the zoonotic nature of the disease and pregnancy as these are the areas of greatest concern. You can read a lot more by scrolling down the page and clicking on the available links. Toxoplasmosis is a hotly debated topic between cat lovers and cat haters! It is a topic which crystallises these divergent passions. There was a time when cat haters promoted online the belief that Toxoplasma gondii causes madness in people, specifically schizophrenia. That bounced around the internet for a while and then went quiet.

There are some scientific reports on this on Google Scholar by the way. One scientist, E Fuller Torrey, concludes: “..given the fact that there appears to be a correlation between the rise of cats and the rise of psychosis [in the USA], is it likely that the correlation represents causation?….I believe the answer is yes, it is plausible.” One point of view. He is guessing. And he is probably a cat hater ?. Perhaps the rise in psychosis in the USA is due to rampant drug taking such as fentanyl. That seems more plausible to me.

Toxoplasmosis in cats and people

Toxoplasmosis in cats and people. The infographic is by MikeB and it is free to use under a Creative Commons: ATTRIBUTION-NODERIVS CC BY-ND license. Click on the infographic. Click on the present image to enlarge it. Right click it and select ‘save as’.

It is a great shame that the domestic, stray and feral cat is the primary vector (host) of the disease. It is just bad luck as it interferes with the human-to-cat relationship. It is a potential barrier as are: claws, teeth, the feline allergen Fel D1 and the fact that the domestic cat is a top and highly accomplished predator ?. Despite those potential negatives the domestic cat is massively popular across the globe. A testament to its attractiveness both in appearance and personality.

Below are some more articles on Toxoplasma gondii.

Toxoplasma parasite engages in 'identity theft' of immune cell to travel around the host's body

Is toxoplasmosis a serious problem for humans?

Toxoplasma gondii oocyst. Source: CDC and Science Direct. There is a disconnect between what we read about the seriousness of ...
Toxoplasma parasite engages in 'identity theft' of immune cell to travel around the host's body

Wily toxoplasma parasite hijacks immune cells to travel around the host

I have had to interpret a very complicated study on the Toxoplasma gondii protozoan parasite published on the Cell Host ...
Toxoplasma gondii

Domestic cats overly criticised for their role as hosts of Toxoplasma gondii

The life-cycle of Toxoplasma gondii is complicated. People tend to oversimplify it. They see the domestic cat infecting humans with ...
Toxoplasma gondii

Is there a link between domestic cats and human psychosis?

I declare my bias/interest: I am for the cat and against science which either purposefully or inadvertently maligns the cat ...
Toxoplasma gondii oocyst

Health tip: preventing a toxoplasmosis infection from cat faeces

A lot has been said about toxoplasmosis and the possibility of contracting it through coming into contact with domestic cat ...
TNR program Austin Texas

Feral cats in TNR colonies are no greater risk to human beings than pet cats

An interesting study dated 2003 titled: Prevalence of infectious diseases in feral cats in Northern Florida concluded that feral cats ...
Map showing where T. gondii is most prevalent in wild animals

Toxoplasmosis in wild animals is more common in places of higher human density

A study has found that the protozoan parasitic disease called toxoplasmosis is more commonly found in wild animals that live ...
Useful tag. Click to see the articles: Cat behavior

Note: sources for news articles are carefully selected but the news is often not independently verified.
Useful links
Anxiety - reduce it
FULL Maine Coon guide - lots of pages
Children and cats - important

Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 74-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in many jobs including professional photography. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare. If you want to read more click here.

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