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Unravelling The Mystery Of The Kitty Litter Parasite In Marine Mammals
Science Daily ^ | 6-5-2008 | American Society for Microbiology

Posted on 06/05/2008 1:52:38 PM PDT by blam

Unravelling The Mystery Of The Kitty Litter Parasite In Marine Mammals

ScienceDaily (Jun. 5, 2008) — Researchers at California Polytechnic State University have discovered what may be a clue to the mystery of why marine mammals around the world are succumbing to a parasite that is typically only associated with cats. The key may just be the lowly anchovy, according to research presented today at the 108th General Meeting of the American Society for Microbiology in Boston.

Toxoplasma gondii is a protozoan parasite which causes toxoplasmosis, considered to be the third leading cause of death attributed to foodborne illness in the United States. While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that over 20% of the U.S. population carries the parasite, the only known reservoir of the infectious form of the parasite (the oocyst) are cats.

Over the past decade, toxoplasma infection has appeared in a variety of sea mammals including beluga whales, dolphins, sea lions and seals. It has also become a major cause of death in sea otters living off the coast of California. It is estimated that approximately 17% of sea otter deaths can be attributed to toxoplasma. While many believe fresh water runoff contaminated with cat feces is to blame, there is no definitive science on the source of infection.

"The question that drives our research is how are marine mammals from the Arctic Circle to Australia infected by a parasite that is spread primarily through the consumption of infectious cat feces and infected meat? Based on the global prevalence of T. gondii infections, we hypothesize that migratory filter feeders, specifically northern anchovies, are serving to spread T. gondii throughout the ocean," says Gloeta Massie, a graduate student who conducted the research with Associate Professor Michael Black.

As there is no previously published research on the ability of anchovies to filter oocysts, that was the first step towards proving their hypothesis. Massie and Black exposed northern anchovies to the parasite, and then, using molecular techniques, tested for the presence of the parasite within the fish. They detected T. gondii DNA in 66% of the exposed fish.

Now that they have shown that anchovies can filter oocysts from the water, the next step is to determine the infectivity of exposed anchovies to mammals.

"Do our research findings mean that you should stop eating anchovy pizza? No. T. gondii oocysts are destroyed by high heat. Unfortunately, marine mammals do not have the option of cooking their food before they eat it. As anchovies are considered prey for practically every major predatory marine fish, mammal and bird, if the exposed anchovies harbor infectious oocysts, this could present a possible transmission path of T. gondii in the marine environment," says Massie.

Adapted from materials provided by American Society for Microbiology, via EurekAlert!, a service of AAAS.


TOPICS: Pets/Animals
KEYWORDS: coastalenvironment; environment; kitty; litter; marine; mystery
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Don't eat anything raw anymore?
1 posted on 06/05/2008 1:52:39 PM PDT by blam
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To: blam

“...this could present a possible transmission path...”

and then too, perhaps not.


2 posted on 06/05/2008 1:56:58 PM PDT by rockinqsranch (Dems, Libs, Socialists...call 'em what you will...They ALL have fairies livin' in their trees.)
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To: rockinqsranch

George Bush is dumping cat litter in the oceans?! /s


3 posted on 06/05/2008 2:29:01 PM PDT by Clioman
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To: blam

lox and bagels


4 posted on 06/05/2008 2:29:25 PM PDT by Sundog (Hussein . . . B. Hussein or S. Hussein?)
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To: blam
...anchovies....MMMMMMMMMMMMMM..........


5 posted on 06/05/2008 2:31:59 PM PDT by Joe 6-pack (Que me amat, amet et canem meum)
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To: blam
estimates that over 20% of the U.S. population carries the parasite

Hold on now ... one in five of us carries this parasite???

6 posted on 06/05/2008 2:36:35 PM PDT by NonValueAdded (I tried to explain that I meant it as a compliment, but that only appears to have made things worse.)
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To: blam
Toxoplasma gondii is a protozoan parasite which causes toxoplasmosis, considered to be the third leading cause of death attributed to foodborne illness in the United States. While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that over 20% of the U.S. population carries the parasite, the only known reservoir of the infectious form of the parasite (the oocyst) are cats.

1. the third leading cause of death attributed to foodborne illness in the United States
2. the only known reservoir of the infectious form of the parasite (the oocyst) are cats

Therefore:
3. Kill all cats.

After all, isn't it worth it if we can save just one kid's life? Besides, more people die each year from this disease than die from carbon dioxide emissions. Perhaps we should take all the money devoted to CO2 abatement, split it up amongst cat owners, and spend some money that'll really save some lives. And then we could export all that fur to China for them to turn into innovative rabbit coats.
7 posted on 06/05/2008 2:37:25 PM PDT by aruanan
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To: blam
Unravelling The Mystery Of The Kitty Litter Parasite In Marine Mammals

Click here for the answer!

8 posted on 06/05/2008 2:39:34 PM PDT by mewzilla (In politics the middle way is none at all. John Adams)
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Comment #9 Removed by Moderator

To: aruanan
Perhaps we should take all the money devoted to CO2 abatement, split it up amongst cat owners, and spend some money that'll really save some lives. And then we could export all that fur to China for them to turn into innovative rabbit coats

Did you get that idea from "The Naked Gun 33 1/3"?

Frank Drebin: Uh Raquel, so many go to bed hungry in this nation, yet cat food is full of tuna! I cant help but think each time I go to the zoo and see those porpises, crammed into those tiny tanks, what a waste that is. Butcher half of them now! That's hundreds of pounds of Dolphin meat that can be fed to our cats, freeing up that tuna for our nations hungry.

[one person claps here]

Raquel Welch: And the winner is...

Frank Drebin: Uh so many are cold, shivering in the night, so I say, butcher those cats, skin them! Use their fur to keep hundreds warm!

10 posted on 06/05/2008 3:31:49 PM PDT by sportutegrl
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To: sportutegrl

Ha ha. No. But we could save a lot of lives if we just offed all the cats. It’s not like they’re useful for ranching or guiding the blind or guarding property or sniffing out drugs or corpses. Though on FR they appear to be useful for announcing ZOTS! But their pictures, in their absence, would still be usable for this purpose.


11 posted on 06/05/2008 3:39:30 PM PDT by aruanan
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To: blam
They forgot to mention Man Made Global Warming!
12 posted on 06/05/2008 3:52:33 PM PDT by Dr._Joseph_Warren
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To: blam
Ok, I have finally given in to the enviros, I think the human species is a blot on the planet and should be eliminated. We should declare a national cool-aid day in which we all drink the poison coolaid and rid the planet of the human species. However, in a show of good faith and to prove they believe in the doctrine they support, all liberals, enviros, marxist and others of their ilk should go first on national TV in order to inspire the rest of us to do our part, nothing like standing by your beliefs in order to win the hearts of the masses.

So, on the 1st of november, 2008 all of the supporters of how rotten the human race is must take their own lives and show us the way. I think barrack obama should be the first to go. After that the rest of us, if we still think humans are so bad, will drink the coolaid. Come on now, get behind this, I am sure you will not be sorry!

13 posted on 06/05/2008 4:26:49 PM PDT by calex59
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To: calex59

Maybe we ought to just start with killing all the cats first. What do you think of that?


14 posted on 06/05/2008 5:25:08 PM PDT by blam
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To: blam
...infected by a parasite that is spread primarily through the consumption of infectious cat feces...

Not my idea of appetizers.

15 posted on 06/05/2008 5:59:00 PM PDT by Disambiguator
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To: aruanan; Slings and Arrows; Lady Jag; Daffynition
funny pictures
16 posted on 06/05/2008 6:04:13 PM PDT by LucyT (What happens in Denver won't stay in Denver... August 25 - 28, 2008)
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To: blam

Maybe we ought to just start with killing all the cats first. What do you think of that?

Works for me!


17 posted on 06/05/2008 6:07:32 PM PDT by djf (I see you shuffle in the courtroom, with the rings upon your fingers...)
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To: LucyT; blam

18 posted on 06/05/2008 6:39:51 PM PDT by Lady Jag (You can contribute to FR any time at https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate)
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To: Lady Jag
kitten
19 posted on 06/05/2008 6:49:08 PM PDT by LucyT (What happens in Denver won't stay in Denver... August 25 - 28, 2008)
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To: LucyT

20 posted on 06/05/2008 7:22:50 PM PDT by Lady Jag (You can contribute to FR any time at https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate)
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To: blam; Slings and Arrows; Glenn; republicangel; Bahbah; Beaker; BADROTOFINGER; etabeta; ...

21 posted on 06/05/2008 7:29:45 PM PDT by Slings and Arrows ("Code Pink should guard against creating stereotypes in the Mincing Community." --Titan Magroyne)
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To: blam

Obama’s fault.


22 posted on 06/05/2008 7:36:00 PM PDT by Jet Jaguar (Who would the terrorists vote for?)
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To: Joe 6-pack
Photobucket
23 posted on 06/05/2008 7:37:37 PM PDT by BunnySlippers
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To: Lady Jag
cat
24 posted on 06/05/2008 7:38:14 PM PDT by LucyT (What happens in Denver won't stay in Denver... August 25 - 28, 2008)
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To: LucyT
Wait a second here LucyT.....how'd you get my Pixie-Bob to pose for this photo????????
25 posted on 06/05/2008 8:25:49 PM PDT by MamaDearest
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To: LucyT
Someone's already begun to do this. Of course Portland, Oregon takes the "honors."

Serial cat killer on Portland campus

A string of cat killings and mutilations across a Portland, Ore., campus has police and animal rights supporters on alert.

The Oregon Humane Society has offered a reward of $1,000 for help in catching whoever has has been leaving the bodies of dead animals on the campus of Portland State University over the past month, reported the Portland Oregonian Monday.

Veterinary doctors say the wounds on the cats, including four kittens found outside the library, indicate both blunt force trauma causing death and also mutilation or torture.

26 posted on 06/05/2008 8:35:36 PM PDT by MamaDearest
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To: MamaDearest

MD, he was sitting on the doorstep, and too cute to resist!


27 posted on 06/05/2008 8:39:51 PM PDT by LucyT (What happens in Denver won't stay in Denver... August 25 - 28, 2008)
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To: LucyT

28 posted on 06/05/2008 8:45:56 PM PDT by Lady Jag (You can contribute to FR any time at https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate)
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To: Lady Jag; potlatch; InkStone
cats
29 posted on 06/05/2008 8:49:44 PM PDT by LucyT (What happens in Denver won't stay in Denver... August 25 - 28, 2008)
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To: LucyT; devolve; Lady Jag; PhilDragoo; ntnychik
How about 'bar hopping' cat...


30 posted on 06/05/2008 8:58:27 PM PDT by potlatch (MICHELLE OBAMA - The gift that just keeps on giving....!)
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To: potlatch

.

.....for Guinness saké


31 posted on 06/05/2008 9:03:48 PM PDT by devolve (- Men - I want you all to relax! Let the 101st Airborne try again in 4 years! - Gen. George Patton)
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To: LucyT
I'd love to but I have to go to practice.


32 posted on 06/05/2008 9:03:55 PM PDT by Lady Jag (You can contribute to FR any time at https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate)
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To: devolve

Lol, that combination would put you to sleep!


33 posted on 06/05/2008 9:13:35 PM PDT by potlatch (MICHELLE OBAMA - The gift that just keeps on giving....!)
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To: Lady Jag
funny pictures
34 posted on 06/05/2008 9:16:01 PM PDT by LucyT (What happens in Denver won't stay in Denver... August 25 - 28, 2008)
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To: potlatch; LucyT; devolve; PhilDragoo; ntnychik
I gotta go to bed.


35 posted on 06/05/2008 9:17:58 PM PDT by Lady Jag (You can contribute to FR any time at https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate)
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To: Lady Jag

Lol, you or the cat??
Night!!


36 posted on 06/05/2008 9:19:49 PM PDT by potlatch (MICHELLE OBAMA - The gift that just keeps on giving....!)
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To: Lady Jag; potlatch; devolve

Good night, Lady Jag.

Ya’ know, this is supposed to be a serious thread, lol.


37 posted on 06/05/2008 9:23:53 PM PDT by LucyT (What happens in Denver won't stay in Denver... August 25 - 28, 2008)
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To: potlatch; ntnychik; Lady Jag; LucyT

.

You’re all playing cat games here!


38 posted on 06/05/2008 9:25:53 PM PDT by devolve (- Men - I want you all to relax! Let the 101st Airborne try again in 4 years! - Gen. George Patton)
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To: LucyT

39 posted on 06/05/2008 9:26:50 PM PDT by Lady Jag (You can contribute to FR any time at https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate)
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To: NonValueAdded

My niece had it, she had 2 miscarriages and a baby that died because of it.


40 posted on 06/05/2008 9:31:04 PM PDT by tiki (True Christians will not deliberately slander or misrepresent others or their beliefs)
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To: devolve
Ummm, from one of your creations - we are playing cat and mouse!!


41 posted on 06/05/2008 9:32:51 PM PDT by potlatch (MICHELLE OBAMA - The gift that just keeps on giving....!)
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To: potlatch

.

LOL!

That’s an oldie!


42 posted on 06/05/2008 9:38:23 PM PDT by devolve (- Men - I want you all to relax! Let the 101st Airborne try again in 4 years! - Gen. George Patton)
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To: devolve

It really is an oldie. I can remember how cute I thought it was when I first saw it.

It’s still cute, lol.


43 posted on 06/05/2008 9:42:27 PM PDT by potlatch (MICHELLE OBAMA - The gift that just keeps on giving....!)
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To: potlatch

.

It’s a good one.....


44 posted on 06/05/2008 9:46:52 PM PDT by devolve (- Men - I want you all to relax! Let the 101st Airborne try again in 4 years! - Gen. George Patton)
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To: potlatch; devolve

Aww, devolve, that is so cute. Thanks for posting it, potlatch.


45 posted on 06/05/2008 9:47:41 PM PDT by LucyT (What happens in Denver won't stay in Denver... August 25 - 28, 2008)
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To: devolve

As you would say....YUP!!


46 posted on 06/05/2008 9:49:15 PM PDT by potlatch (MICHELLE OBAMA - The gift that just keeps on giving....!)
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To: LucyT; devolve

It really is a ‘golden oldie’ Lucy, from waaay back, lol.


47 posted on 06/05/2008 9:50:08 PM PDT by potlatch (MICHELLE OBAMA - The gift that just keeps on giving....!)
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To: blam
"Studies have found that toxoplasmosis is associated with an increased car accident rate, roughly doubling or tripling the chance of an accident relative to uninfected people. This may be due to the slowed reaction times that are associated with infection. "If our data are true then about a million people a year die just because they are infected with toxoplasma," the researcher Jaroslav Flegr told The Guardian. The data shows that the risk decreases with time after infection, but is not due to age. ...

"Other studies suggest that the parasite may influence personality. There are claims of toxoplasma causing antisocial attitudes in men and promiscuity (or even "signs of higher intelligence") in women, and greater susceptibility to schizophrenia and manic depression in all infected persons. ..."

- link

48 posted on 06/05/2008 9:59:00 PM PDT by wideminded
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To: Slings and Arrows

Another interesting cat related story. =^..^=


49 posted on 06/06/2008 8:02:40 AM PDT by Biggirl (A biggirl with a big heart for God's animal creation, with 4 cats in my life as proof. =^..^=)
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To: tiki

Oh my, I can’t begin to think how I’d bear up under that heartbreak. I am amazed that something that common is essentially unknown by the masses. All kitty jokes aside, your niece’s experience should be a wake-up call.


50 posted on 06/06/2008 8:32:25 AM PDT by NonValueAdded (I tried to explain that I meant it as a compliment, but that only appears to have made things worse.)
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