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Ann Trop Med Parasitol. 1980 Apr;74(2):145-50.

Chronic Toxoplasma infections and familiarity-novelty discrimination in the mouse.


Male mice were exposed to a black arm and the stem of a Y-maze; entrance to a white arm was blocked by a transparent door. Toxoplasma-infected mice were significantly less active and tended to produce fewer faecal boluses than uninfected controls. In a subsequent free-choice trial, in which both arms were black, the uninfected mice spent significantly more time in the novel (previously blocked) arm; the infected mice showed no preference for either choice arm. Possible explanations are discussed. In particular, it seems that Toxoplasma-infected mice may be less responsive to novel stimuli. This suggestion has important implications for our understanding of one of the major ways in which Toxoplasma passes from host to host. If Toxoplasma infections impair responsiveness to novel stimuli, then infected mice are more likely to be taken by predators.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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