Toxoplasma gondii Contaminated Food May Cause You To Develop Brain Cancer

contaminated food may contain parasite Toxoplasma gondii

Health is the essential and utmost priority of all human beings, to maintain a healthy mind and body individuals tend to eat healthily. But there is a possibility that your food is somehow contaminated with parasite Toxoplasma gondii and other pathogens. 

Eating contaminated food will initially affect your digestive system. Also, there is a possibility that the pathogens or micro-organisms travel towards other body organs. If the possibility comes true, the pathogens can cause infections of the brain, heart, lung, kidney or any other part of the body, causing adverse impact on the body’s normal functioning. 

Bacteria or viruses can easily enter the human body through the air we breathe or the food we eat. So how can individuals protect themselves from these micro-organisms that can and may yield lethal outcomes? There is a solution but not an easy one. You will have to alter your habits, lifestyle and diet.

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Wearing masks, using sanitizers, washing hands frequently and other certain measures can lower the risk of getting infection with airborne pathogens. Similarly, for food borne micro-organisms or parasites, it’s vital to cook food properly to control their transmission. Any uncooked meat can contain pathogens, and to prevent it from entering into the body, it is vital to cook the food properly before consumption. 

You can also try to ensure that the animals whose meat you are eating are kept in clean, hygienic conditions. This will lower the risk of contamination but not eradicate the risk. Research suggests that the parasite Toxoplasma gondii can be present in uncooked meat (especially pork) and can generate a rare type of brain cancer in humans. 

Is Parasite T. gondii The Cause Of Fatal Gliomas?

Glioma is a type of tumor that begins in the glial cells of the brain or spinal cord. These tumors are classified under a rare type of cancer but are highly lethal. 

The research reported that Toxoplasma gondii generates gliomas in human beings. Parasite Toxoplasma gondii is found in cat feces, contaminated water and uncooked food (pork).

According to research published in the International Journal of Cancer, T. gondii can generate cysts and inflammation in the brain’s regions. The cysts, in turn, lead to gliomas formation. 

Research shows that glioma associations were stronger for people with higher T. gondii antibodies levels. James Hodge is an epidemiologist in the American Cancer Society’s department of population science. Anna Coghill is of cancer epidemiology at the H. Lee Moffit Cancer Center and Research Institute in Florida. Both James and Anna led a team looking for the association of T. gondii presence in blood samples and the risk of glioma in people with T. gondii. 

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Gliomas And Toxoplasma gondii

Toxoplasma gondii, or T. gondii parasite, grows and reproduces in rodents, cats, and through their feces, it spreads to other animals like pigs. As a result uncooked meat contains living parasites in it, the foodborne parasite enters into humans causing infection with symptoms like mild-flu. However, immunocompromised individuals and newborns experience a serious infection. 

Moreover, chronic T. gondii infection can generate neurological diseases like schizophrenia, behavioral changes and other mental disorders. The parasite has infected about 20 % to 50% of individuals across the globe. According to Hodge, it is not compulsory for a person with T. gondii antibodies to develop gliomas; some individuals have gliomas but do not have T. gondii antibodies or vice versa. 

Gliomas most common subtype is glioblastomas that have a five-year relative survival rate of only 5 %. Also, 80% of malignant brain tumors are gliomas. According to Coghill, T. gondii parasites are likely to cause gliomas, but further research is essential for diagnostic confirmation.


Adeena Tariq Lari
The author is a graduate of dental surgery from the Dow University Health Sciences, Karachi. She has an academic background in content writing as well as English literature, giving her an edge in the field. Adeena is always curious about physical and mental health. She is always passionate about research and delivering high-quality reliable content to users.