Toxoplasmosis, cats, mice – and zombies?

The latest Economist includes an article about the connection between toxoplasmosis, cats, mice, and, potentially, human behavior: “Toxoplasmosis and psychology: a game of cat and mouse.”  It seems that higher levels of human toxoplasmosis infection are associated with higher population levels of neurosis.  Also, there is a correlation between toxoplasmosis infection and people who are in car accidents.

The toxoplasmosis life cycle involves cycling between cats and mice (if you want full details, check the article).  For the mouse-back-to-cat part of the cycle, the mouse must be eaten by the cat.  One of the effects on mice of toxoplasmosis infection appears to be a tendency to wander about in ways that attract cats, and also an attraction to the scent of cats. 

Suppose there is a variant on this bug – call it toxoplasmosis-Z – which has a similar kind of effect on people…

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