The parasite that controls the minds of cats can infect billions of people. The clue is in their eyes.

Toxoplasma gondii is probably the most successful parasite in the world today. This microscopic creature is capable of infecting any mammal or bird, and people from all continents are infected. Once infected, a person carries Toxoplasma for life. So far, we don’t have a medicine that can eradicate the parasite from the body. And there is no vaccine approved for use in humans.

All over the world, it is estimated 30-50% of people are infected with Toxoplasma – and infections could rise in Australia. A survey of studies conducted at blood banks and pregnancy clinics across the country in the 1970s put the infection rate at 30%. However, a recent Western Australian community study found that 66% of people were infected.

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