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Can Parasites Significantly Affect Behaviour ?

Did you know that microscopic organisms living and multiplying within you can have a powerful impact on your behaviour? You are likely unaware of them but according to research, they can alter your personality.

In a 1996 study, a total of 224 men and 170 women were tested for toxoplasmosis infection and their personality profiles were measured. Highly significant differences between toxoplasma-infected and uninfected subjects were observed.

An estimated 22% of adults are hosts for this parasite. Based on studies, individuals who are infected are significantly more outgoing and carefree than individuals who are infection-free.

But there is a downside. Individuals with latent toxoplasmosis have a significantly higher involvement in traffic accidents due to what is described as their decreased ability to concentrate.

Recent studies also show significant differences in behaviour between infected and uninfected rodents. A possible mechanism of behaviour modification by parasites in rodents has also been discovered. Rodents infected with toxoplasma gondii show an attrac-...(click for more)