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mzmolly

(50,873 posts)
Tue Jul 3, 2012, 02:20 PM Jul 2012

Cat Litter Parasite May Raise Suicide Risk ~ WebMD Health News

July 2, 2012 -- Women infected with a parasite found in dirty kitty litter, undercooked meat, and unwashed vegetables may be at higher risk for self-injury and suicide, a new study shows.

In the study, published today in the journal Archives of General Psychiatry, researchers report that women infected with the parasite Toxoplasma gondii were more likely to attempt suicide than women who were not infected.

In the U.S., T. gondii infection is most commonly caused by eating undercooked meat. Infection can also be transmitted from handling infected cat feces, eating unwashed produce, and handling contaminated soil.

The study follows earlier work by the researchers suggesting that T. gondii infection increases the risk for schizophrenia.


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Cat Litter Parasite May Raise Suicide Risk ~ WebMD Health News (Original Post) mzmolly Jul 2012 OP
wow libodem Jul 2012 #1
It isn't dangerous to deal with the cat box while pregnant. Most cats don't have Toxo or if they kestrel91316 Jul 2012 #3
good to know libodem Jul 2012 #15
FYI - the bacteria is found in many places, including raw and undercooked mzmolly Jul 2012 #4
Please.....since you don't even comprehend that Toxo is a protozoan parasite and NOT kestrel91316 Jul 2012 #16
"toxoplasmosis is a bacterium that lives inside the cells of any mammal" mzmolly Jul 2012 #17
My mom was the daughter of Depression-era cat people and wound up with schizophrenia, FWIW. kestrel91316 Jul 2012 #2
What I'd also like to see are tests done on the mentally ill, mzmolly Jul 2012 #5
The problem is, the blood test for Toxo only tells whether or not you have ever been exposed, not kestrel91316 Jul 2012 #6
Even if you've ever had an infection, mzmolly Jul 2012 #7
There is no rationale for treating people for Toxo merely because they have a positive titer. The kestrel91316 Jul 2012 #9
What I said was - if one presents with symptoms of mental illness mzmolly Jul 2012 #11
And Lyme can make people present with "bipolar." Scary how such teensy things can wreak havoc! GreenPartyVoter Jul 2012 #8
There is increasing evidence that mental illness might have an mzmolly Jul 2012 #12
I know that bipolar frequently seem to show up with Colitis, which is an autoimmune disorder. Lucky GreenPartyVoter Jul 2012 #14
I'm sorry to hear that. mzmolly Jul 2012 #18
Thank you! *hugs* GreenPartyVoter Jul 2012 #19
hell, the onset of the flu makes me feel terribly depressed. elehhhhna Jul 2012 #10
True. mzmolly Jul 2012 #13

libodem

(19,288 posts)
1. wow
Tue Jul 3, 2012, 02:26 PM
Jul 2012

And I thought it was just dangerous to change the cat box while pregnant. Glove up and maybe even mask up, if ya can't hold your breath that long.

Yee gads, I thought it was just another unpleasant job.

 

kestrel91316

(51,666 posts)
3. It isn't dangerous to deal with the cat box while pregnant. Most cats don't have Toxo or if they
Tue Jul 3, 2012, 02:31 PM
Jul 2012

do, they aren't contagious. It's easy for a pregnant woman to deal with a litter box: dust mask, latex gloves, scoop DAILY to prevent oocyst maturation, and wash hands with soap and water afterwards.

But MOST IMPORTANT, avoid eating incompletely cooked meat. And never feed it to your cat.

 

kestrel91316

(51,666 posts)
16. Please.....since you don't even comprehend that Toxo is a protozoan parasite and NOT
Wed Jul 4, 2012, 12:26 PM
Jul 2012

a bacterium......don't presume to tell me about it. Toxo is found transiently in the feces of cats on initial infection, so if infected cats poop in the garden it can wind up on your carrots. THIS IS WHY WE WASH OUR PRODUCE BEFORE EATING.

But in the US, the most common way for people to become infected is by ingestion of incompletely cooked meat (or obviously cross-contamination of cooked foods during prep). Statistically there is no correlation between contact with cats and infection with Toxoplasma gondii.

http://www.cdc.gov/parasites/toxoplasmosis/ Excellent, extensive resource on Toxo, though you might wish to ignore it, mzmolly, because the source is the evil CDC.

~~~~~~~~~
From CDC website:


Prevention & Control
People who are healthy should follow the guidelines below to reduce risk of toxoplasmosis. If you have a weakened immune system, please see guidelines for Immunocompromised Persons.

Reduce Risk from Food
To prevent risk of toxoplasmosis and other infections from food:
Cook food to safe temperatures. A food thermometer should be used to measure the internal temperature of cooked meat. Do not sample meat until it is cooked. USDA recommends the following for meat preparation.
For Whole Cuts of Meat (excluding poultry)
Cook to at least 145° F (63° C) as measured with a food thermometer placed in the thickest part of the meat, then allow the meat to rest* for three minutes before carving or consuming.
For Ground Meat (excluding poultry)
Cook to at least 160° F (71° C); ground meats do not require a rest* time.
For All Poultry (whole cuts and ground)
Cook to at least 165° F (74° C), and for whole poultry allow the meat to rest* for three minutes before carving or consuming.
*According to USDA, "A 'rest time' is the amount of time the product remains at the final temperature, after it has been removed from a grill, oven, or other heat source. During the three minutes after meat is removed from the heat source, its temperature remains constant or continues to rise, which destroys pathogens."

Freeze meat for several days at sub-zero (0° F) temperatures before cooking to greatly reduce chance of infection.
Peel or wash fruits and vegetables thoroughly before eating.

Wash counter tops carefully.
Wash cutting boards, dishes, counters, utensils, and hands with hot soapy water after contact with raw meat, poultry, seafood, or unwashed fruits or vegetables.
More on: Handwashing

The U.S. Government and the meat industry continue their efforts to reduce T. gondii in meat.

Reduce Risk from the Environment
To prevent risk of toxoplasmosis from the environment:
Avoid drinking untreated drinking water.
Wear gloves when gardening and during any contact with soil or sand because it might be contaminated with cat feces that contain Toxoplasma. Wash hands with soap and warm water after gardening or contact with soil or sand.
Teach children the importance of washing hands to prevent infection.
Keep outdoor sandboxes covered.

Have someone else clean the litter box.
Feed cats only canned or dried commercial food or well-cooked table food, not raw or undercooked meats.
Change the litter box daily If you own a cat. The Toxoplasma parasite does not become infectious until 1 to 5 days after it is shed in a cat's feces. If you are pregnant or immunocompromised:
Avoid changing cat litter if possible. If no one else can perform the task, wear disposable gloves and wash your hands with soap and warm water afterwards.
Keep cats indoors.
Do not adopt or handle stray cats, especially kittens. Do not get a new cat while you are pregnant.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

mzmolly

(50,873 posts)
17. "toxoplasmosis is a bacterium that lives inside the cells of any mammal"
Wed Jul 4, 2012, 03:59 PM
Jul 2012

Per: http://www.vetinfo.com/cat-toxoplasmosis-clindamycin.html/

I was of the impression, that toxoplasmosis is a parasitic bacteria.

http://textbookofbacteriology.net/NHPR.html

3. Parasitism. In biology, the term parasite refers to an organism that grows, feeds and is sheltered on or in a different organism while contributing nothing to the survival of its host. In microbiology, the mode of existence of a parasite implies that the parasite is capable of causing damage to the host. This type of a symbiotic association draws our attention because a parasite may become pathogenic if the damage to the host results in disease. Some parasitic bacteria live as normal flora of humans while waiting for an opportunity to cause disease. Other nonindigenous parasites generally always cause disease if they associate with a nonimmune host
.

The information I've read on this, may be incorrect. But, by all means grapple at straws given you were unaware of various treatment options.

I've viewed the CDC website info on this. And, I don't ignore the CDC. I reference their statistics on vaccine compliance etc., often.
 

kestrel91316

(51,666 posts)
2. My mom was the daughter of Depression-era cat people and wound up with schizophrenia, FWIW.
Tue Jul 3, 2012, 02:29 PM
Jul 2012

The cats were mousers and never saw a vet, and how to use good hygiene to avoid Toxo wasn't understood at the time.

No need for panic, though, folks. Here's what I tell my clients:
Keep cats indoors and don't feed them incompletely cooked meat or allow to catch/eat vermin if possible.
Scoop litterboxes daily to remove feces before any Toxo oocysts, if present, have a change to become infectious.
Make sure everybody in the home washes hands with soap and water after handling pets and before handling/preparing/consuming food.
Keep cats off kitchen counters; keep counters clean.
Don't eat incompletely cooked meat yourself because this is how the vast majority of Americans get Toxo. It rarely has anything to do with cats.

mzmolly

(50,873 posts)
5. What I'd also like to see are tests done on the mentally ill,
Tue Jul 3, 2012, 02:40 PM
Jul 2012

when symptoms present. The study implications go far beyond schizophrenia from what I've been reading.

Good advice above. I too have schizophrenia in my family. The person in question owns five cats. It's a chicken egg question for me.

 

kestrel91316

(51,666 posts)
6. The problem is, the blood test for Toxo only tells whether or not you have ever been exposed, not
Tue Jul 3, 2012, 02:42 PM
Jul 2012

whether you have active infection.

mzmolly

(50,873 posts)
7. Even if you've ever had an infection,
Tue Jul 3, 2012, 02:45 PM
Jul 2012

you could be treated (initially) with the appropriate med. Surely, the side effects of an antibiotic are less risky than life long, anti-psych meds.


 

kestrel91316

(51,666 posts)
9. There is no rationale for treating people for Toxo merely because they have a positive titer. The
Tue Jul 3, 2012, 05:30 PM
Jul 2012

vast majority of them have completely overcome the infection and it is permanently dormant, never to appear in any form.

Most adult humans are Toxo positive, IIRC.

What evidence do you have that treatment with an antibiotic (which kills BACTERIA) will have any beneficial effect against dormant Toxo (a protozoan parasite)? Which antibiotic do you propose, lol? What are the risks of side effects from this treatment?

Do you have any background at all in parasitology or medicine, or are you just spouting nonsense because you have an uninformed opinion?

mzmolly

(50,873 posts)
11. What I said was - if one presents with symptoms of mental illness
Tue Jul 3, 2012, 05:56 PM
Jul 2012

and a positive "toxo" titer, initial treatment might include appropriate antibiotics (and, anti-parasitic meds, for that matter.) Regarding what antibiotic I propose, I defer to the Mayo Clinic, who has the "background in medicine" and is apparently "spouting nonsense." LOL.

Treatments and drugs - By Mayo Clinic staff

...

Pyrimethamine (Daraprim). This medication for malaria is also used to treat toxoplasmosis. It's a folic acid antagonist, which means it may prevent your body from absorbing the important B vitamin folate (folic acid, vitamin B-9, vitamin B complex), especially when you take high doses over a long period of time. For that reason, your doctor may recommend taking additional folic acid. Other potential side effects of pyrimethamine include bone marrow suppression and liver toxicity.

Sulfadiazine. This antibiotic is used in combination with pyrimethamine to treat toxoplasmosis.

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/toxoplasmosis/ds00510/dsection=treatments-and-drugs


Here's more: http://www.livestrong.com/article/164220-antibiotics-that-kill-human-parasites/

mzmolly

(50,873 posts)
12. There is increasing evidence that mental illness might have an
Tue Jul 3, 2012, 06:04 PM
Jul 2012

auto-immune component in some cases. I hope that research will bring more answers and solutions.

Hey GPV! Long time no see.

GreenPartyVoter

(72,376 posts)
14. I know that bipolar frequently seem to show up with Colitis, which is an autoimmune disorder. Lucky
Tue Jul 3, 2012, 08:25 PM
Jul 2012

me I have them both.

Good to see you too!

 

elehhhhna

(32,076 posts)
10. hell, the onset of the flu makes me feel terribly depressed.
Tue Jul 3, 2012, 05:47 PM
Jul 2012

when i finally take my temp and confirm I have a fever, it's a relief.

physical illness has a mental/emotional effect, for sure.

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