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Researchers Create Cat-Like Mice For Toxoplasmosis Study

Researchers have recently found that people with a very weak immune system are very susceptible to toxoplasmosis. It is an infection that can lead to miscarriages & birth defects and also cause some deadly diseases. It has been found that it is hard for the parasite to reproduce outside the cat’s body and thus, it is here, where the ethical issue comes into play. The researchers from UW-Madison have found the parasite to multiply sexually in the cat’s intestine. Thus, using this knowledge, the researchers created cat-like lab mice for the research purpose as the risk for pregnant women and people consuming undercooked flesh is only increasing. The gene-editing technology CRISPR was used to eliminate the linoleic acid production in mice and help Toxo produce.

The researchers hope to develop a new vaccine for cats, but the bad news is that the US Department of Agriculture closed the main lab in April due to the piling animal-testing critics. The new mice model can help find a new treatment for the affected 40 Million Americans. The pork, shellfish, venison, and lamb if consumed when undercooked could infect the people. The infection can cause swelling of the brain, muscle aches, vision problems, and swollen lymph nodes. It has also been found that people with AIDS, organ transplants, or undergoing chemotherapy are at a higher risk of developing the infection.

The cat litter and stray cats should be avoided by pregnant women as it could lead to miscarriages, stillbirths, or babies with mental disabilities or blindness. Thus, the key focus is to keep pregnant women safe by staying away from the cats. In another similar study, the researchers from Nestlé Purina, a pet food maker, have found that feeding the cats with a specific antibody can help curb the allergy-causing protein in cats named Fel d1 that is unidentifiable to the human immune system and this can help lower allergic response. This can help people with feline allergies love their cats despite mild cat allergies.

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