T. gondii infections have the ability to change the behavior of rats and mice, making them drawn to, rather than fearful of, the scent of cats. This effect is advantageous to the parasite, which will be able to sexually reproduce if its host is eaten by a cat. The infection is highly precise, as it does not affect a rat's other fears such as the fear of open spaces or of unfamiliar smelling food.
Studies have also shown behavioral changes in humans, including slower reaction times and a sixfold increased risk of traffic accidents among infected males, as well as links to schizophrenia including hallucinations and reckless behavior. Recent epidemiologic studies by Stanley Medical Research Institute and Johns Hopkins University Medical Center indicate that infectious agents may contribute to some cases of schizophrenia. A study of 191 young women in 1999 reported higher intelligence and lower guilt proneness in Toxoplasma-positive subjects.
The prevalence of human infection by Toxoplasma varies greatly between countries. Factors that influence infection rates include diet (prevalence is possibly higher where there is a preference for less-cooked meat) and proximity to cats.
Although cats are often blamed for spreading toxoplasmosis, contact with raw meat, especially pork, is a more significant source of human infections in Africa and fecal contamination of hands is a greater risk factor."
As an aside: The same neighbor who informed me about toxoplasmosis and swine, cured himself of Asthma with marijuana, this was long before I knew of its use in hospitals. Consider also that Swine was domesticated outside Africa, in Europe somehwere, and brought to Africa by Massey's Shus/Sus-en-Har. Sus "coincidentally" is the scientific classification for Pigs.
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