A microscopic parasite that breeds in cats has been found to make chimpanzees less fearful of predators in what scientists believe is further evidence that the microbe can also affect human behaviour when it infects people. A study of Toxoplasma gondii, which is estimated to be infecting around 1,000 people every day in Britain, has found that it makes chimpanzees more attracted to the smell of leopards, their main predators in the wild.
The findings of the study support the controversial view that T. gondii may also influence the behaviour of infected people, possibly when it is carried in the bloodstream to the brain where it can form cysts in the amygdala, the brain region involved in fear, researchers said.
Several studies in the past have indicated that the Toxoplasma parasite can affect people’s personality by slowing down their reaction times or making them more likely to take risks. Some studies have linked the cat parasite with psychotic disturbances in humans such as self-harm and suicide, and even serious psychiatric illnesses such as schizophrenia.
This may, in fact, explain Angela Merkel’s strange love for Muslim “migrants” sworn to destroy Germany (the former Holy Roman Empire) and the West. But wait — there’s more!
A parasite that lives in domestic cats has spread to beluga whales in the Arctic which scientists believe have been infected through water or fish that have been contaminated with cat faeces washed into the sea. Tests have shown that the Toxoplasma parasite, which is potentially dangerous to pregnant mammals including humans, is now infecting more than 10 per cent of beluga whales living in the Beaufort Sea off Canada.
Native Inuits living in the area have been warned to take precautions when preparing and cooking beluga whale meat, which is an important part of their traditional diet. Toxoplasma can cause serious health problems for pregnant women, such as congenital disorders and miscarriages.
Michael Grigg of the University of British Columbia said that it is the first time an infectious form of Toxoplasma gondii has been found in the sea mammals living in the Arctic and its appearance could be related to a warmer climate as well as an increasing number of pet cats being kept by locals in the region.
The evidence, cat fanciers, is clear: your “pets” are actually your masters, and dangerous to all of us. But you know that already.