A total of 11% of the population in the US and up to 80% of the people in Brazil suffer by toxoplasmosis. Domestic cats are primary carriers, but many animals and humans also can carry the bug. It can pass on from even mother to the baby in the womb :( It causes morbidity and mortality to some extent, although it is a nuisance to the bigger extent.
Although one third of the world population is infected, the parasite remains latent and checked by our natural immune system. It becomes an issue when the person is under severe immunological stress by certain medications or by immuno-deficiency conditions like in HIV infection.
Now a little background about the Triclosan. We may not have noticed it but scientists know about Triclosan for a long time now (since 1972 to be precise). It's an ingredient in soaps (amounting to 1% of the contents), deodorants, toothpastes, shaving creams, mouth washes, and cleaning supplies and more.
In toothpastes, it is claimed to prevent to gingivitis, although the evidence is still under review by US-FDA. It is an organic powder like substance that is anti-bacterial and anti-fungal. It acts by binding to proteins on the membranes of bacteria and fungus. It interferes with synthesis of certain fatty acids essential for making of cell membranes that 'contain' life.
Now the connection:
Scientists knew Trisclosan can help cure Toxoplasmosis, but it wasn't an optimized therapy. Triclosan can disrupt pathways that are essential to life, but the problem is it not so effective as it is. It is poorly soluble and available in the body. So researchers in the below mentioned study attempted to eliminate these bottlenecks by improving the structure of the Triclosan. They have used a range of methodologies to target a crucial enzyme.
We may have made a breakthrough in finding a solution for this menace that affects every third person. That being said, from discovery to marketing a drug (from bench to bedside as they say) will take at least a decade, so Toxoplasmosis isn't going anywhere anytime soon!!
Link to the findings
- Toxoplasmosis: Parasites In Poop Potential Public Problem?
- Vaccines For Deadly Foodborne Disease Closer To Reality
- Toxoplasma Gondii Study Turns Parasite Invasion Theory On Its Head
- Do Antimicrobial Soaps Even Work? The Answer Is...
- Blocking ABA Molecule With Plant Herbicide Prevents Parasite Infection