Toxoplasma gondii MAS (GCA_000224865.2) Assembly and Gene Annotation
About Toxoplasma gondii MAS
Toxoplasma gondii () is an obligate intracellular parasitic one-celled eukaryote (specifically an apicomplexan) that causes the infectious disease toxoplasmosis. This asymptomatic state of infection is referred to as a latent infection and has recently been associated with numerous subtle adverse or pathological behavioral alterations in humans.
T. gondii has been shown to alter the behavior of infected rodents in ways that increase the rodents' chances of being preyed upon by felids. Because cats are the only hosts within which T. gondii can sexually reproduce to complete and begin its lifecycle, such behavioral manipulations are thought to be evolutionary adaptations that increase the parasite's reproductive success. The rats would not shy away from areas where cats live and would also be less able to escape should a cat try to prey on them. The primary mechanisms of T. gondii--induced behavioral changes in rodents is now known to occur through epigenetic remodeling in neurons which govern the associated behaviors; for example, it modifies epigenetic methylation to cause hypomethylation of arginine vasopressin-related genes in the medial amygdala to greatly decrease predator aversion. and bipolar disorder. preliminary evidence suggests that T. gondii infection may induce some of the same alterations in the human brain as those observed in mice.
General information about this species can be found in Wikipedia.