Eyes are the Windows to One of the Common Parasites

In recent years, Toxoplasmosis has gained a somewhat memetic reputation because its main carriers are cats and its primary vector of transmission is, well, cat poop.

Studies conducted in recent decades have associated toxoplasmosis with everything from changes in sexual orientation to a higher frequency of car accidents, and even a recent study found a link between childhood cat ownership and adult psychosis.

Recent research suggests that anywhere between 30 and 50% of the world’s population is infected, that proportion can be as high as 66% according to a recent community-based study.

Toxoplasmosis float

The parasite can also be spread via undercooked meat, which often attacks the retina, and ocular toxoplasmosis is one of the most common conditions associated with Toxoplasma gondii. It can cause “floaters” that obscure one’s vision and result in vision loss, and can also cause scars on the back of the eyeball.

In an analysis of Western Australia’s Busselton Healthy Aging Study, which took retinal photographs of more than 5,000 baby boomers born between 1946 and 1964, they found that an alarming one of 150 eyeball images showed signs of scarring from ocular toxoplasmosis.

As they noted, there is currently no drug or vaccine to stop or prevent toxoplasmosis infection, and with its estimated prevalence rate in the global population, it makes Toxoplasma the leader in parasite packaging.

Researchers hope that the experimental toxoplasmosis vaccines that have emerged in recent years will reach pharmacies and veterinarians sooner rather than later because the last thing we have is a parasite in our eyeballs.

Source: Medindia

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