CHINESE JOURNAL OF PARASITOLOGY AND PARASITIC DISEASES ›› 2022, Vol. 40 ›› Issue (5): 642-646.doi: 10.12140/j.issn.1000-7423.2022.05.012

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Research advances in Toxoplasma gondii induced host mental-behavioural disorders

DAI Li-sha(), ZHANG Li-xin, YIN Kun()   

  1. Shandong Institute of Parasitic Diseases, Shandong First Medical University & Shandong Academy of Medical Sciences, Jining 272033, China
  • Received:2022-01-19 Revised:2022-01-25 Online:2022-10-30 Published:2022-08-15
  • Contact: YIN Kun;
  • Supported by:
    Taishan Scholars Project of Shandong Province(tsqn202103186);Shandong Medical and Health Science and Technology Development Project(202101050270);Academic Promotion Program of Shandong First Medical University(2019QL005);Shandong Academy of Medical Sciences, Medical and Health Science and Technology Innovation Project


Toxoplasma gondii can cause zoonotic parasitic diseases in humans and animals. Chronic toxoplasmosis induced by toxoplasma cysts could cause nervous system dysfunction, behavioural changes or mental disorders in the hosts, including reducing the natural fear of predators in the rodent host. Multiple psychiatric disorders in human hosts were also significantly associated with T. gondii chronic infection. The possible mechanisms that regulate this process include cerebral cyst infection, central neurotransmitter disorders, and epigenetic regulation of“behavioural manipulation”, but the precise mechanism remains unclear. In this review, we have summarized relevant studies of the host abnormal mental behaviour induced by T. gondii, and summarized the well-established mechanism(s) for this process.

Key words: Toxoplasma gondii, Brain cyst, Neurotransmitter, Behavioral manipulation, Epigenetics

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