Toxoplasma gondii: host-parasite interaction and behavior manipulation

Parasitol Res. 2009 Oct;105(4):893-8. doi: 10.1007/s00436-009-1526-6. Epub 2009 Jun 23.


Toxoplasma gondii is an obligate intracellular parasite that causes different lesions in men and other warm-blooded animals. Humoral and cellular immune response of the host against the parasite keeps the protozoan in a latent stage, and clinical disease ensues when immunological response is compromised. Brain parasitism benefits the parasite causing behavioral changes in the host, not only in animals but also in humans. Schizophrenia and epilepsy are two neurological disorders that have recently been reported to affect humans coinfected with T. gondii. Further studies based on host-parasite interaction in several wild or domestic warm-blooded species are still necessary in order to better understand parasitism and behavioral changes caused by T. gondii.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Epilepsy / etiology
  • Host-Parasite Interactions*
  • Humans
  • Schizophrenia / etiology
  • Toxoplasma / immunology*
  • Toxoplasma / pathogenicity*
  • Toxoplasmosis / complications*
  • Toxoplasmosis / immunology*
  • Toxoplasmosis, Animal / immunology*