Thursday, January 24, 2013

As feline parasite infects humans

Czech biologist Jaroslav Flegrei is known for his statement that the common freeloader known as Toxoplasma (Toxoplasma gondii) is able to "manage" the human brain.

Toxoplasma is which usually affects cats, known with scientists through their "smart tactics." Coming from a cat in a rodent parasite makes him fearless, directing poor straight into the jaws of a cat. The freeloader multiplies in the cat, then the feces is disqualified, thus again can get to the rodent.

Flegrei discovered that people infected with the parasite, it is peculiar behavior like rats: slow reaction, lethargy and reduced fear. But until recently, scientists did not know the mechanism of the nervous system.

Recently, a team of Swedish scientists found a clue. It was found that Toxoplasma can take control of immune cells, and helps her in the neurotransmitter gamma-amino butyric acid (GABA). Parasite "cheats" cell into which it falls, he lives in it and causes it to move rapidly. In this case, box like city bus, which delivers the unusual passenger to organs and tissues. In addition, Toxoplasma promotes the synthesis of GABA. Since GABA is responsible for the suppression of fear and anxiety, it is understandable why mice and rats become fearless.

Although the parasite lives in the cat, but it can infect millions of people getting to us through the water, undercooked meat, etc. For most people, the parasite does not cause obvious problems. But should be especially watchful pregnant women, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) has warned that a woman infected during pregnancy increases the risk of miscarriage or having a baby with birth defects.

Jaroslav Flegrei said that at this stage too early to complete the picture, the mechanism, there is still a number of studies. But the mechanism of GABA, according to the scientist, "is a new and very interesting"

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