Friday, February 22, 2008

Another effect of Latent Toxoplasmosis? Having Boys?

Yet another study in the Czech Republic has come to some rather peculiar results concerning the effect of latent toxoplasmosis infection. After examining the clinical records of nearly 1800 newborn babies, they found that women infected with latent toxoplasmosis were more likely to give birth to baby boys. While the results of this study implied a higher likeliness of infected women to give birth to males, the researchers caution that it was simply an observational study and no conclusive cause and effect has been discovered. (For more on this study: Click Here)

While searching for some interesting articles about toxoplasmosis I was amazed by the range of effects of latent toxoplasmosis that various studies have claimed to find. Increased risk in traffic accidents, higher levels of intelligence, decreases in body weight, and lower guilt proneness are just a few of the many effects of dormant toxoplasmosis which I saw on just one google search! The subjective nature of some of these results, the lack of cause and effect evidence, and the fact that such a huge portion of the population is infected with latent forms of toxoplasmosis leads me to believe that some of these experiments may be trying to make something out of nothing...but that's just me.

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