Infected cats would shed T.gondii in their faeces meaning cat owners are at risk of infection when changing a litter box.

Dr Christopher Lowry, who is part of the research, said: “We often think of T. gondii infection as relatively asymptomatic.

“But this study highlights that for some people it may have significant health consequences later on.”

The team collected blood samples of 601 people over the age of 65 whereby two-thirds had antibodies to the parasite T.gondii.

Once infected by T.gondii, the parasite can remain inside of the body for a lifetime.

Most are unaware as symptoms of infection don’t appear but, for some people, they might experience flu-like symptoms, such as swollen lymph nodes and muscle aches.

Wanting to explore if there are other effects of T.gondii, the researchers found that higher levels of antibodies to T.gondii correlated with frailty.

These higher antibodies to T.gondii suggested multiple infections or reactivation of a latent infection.

In addition to blood tests, the team measured participants’ unintentional weight loss, noted how tired they felt, and other indications of declining health.

Older people who had high levels of antibodies to T.gondii also had more inflammatory blood markers.

An analysis of the data suggested that those who had a severe infection with T.gondii were more likely to be frail.

Frailty was defined by reduced muscle strength, fatigue, and taking longer to recover from mild health problems.

Experts say that the parasite might fuel inflammation and muscle-wasting, which are markers of frailty.

However, these findings can not prove that T.gondii causes frailty, but there is a “compelling association” that should be explored further.

Further research is needed in this area to determine how strong the correlation between T.gondii infection and frailty are.

The study was a collaboration between researchers at the University of Colorado Boulder, University of Maryland and the University of A Coruña in Spain.

People can read the full study in The Journals of Gerontology.

Source: | This article first appeared on

Leave a Reply
You May Also Like

How to live longer: The drink to stave off ‘various’ cancers and extend your lifespan

One meta-analysis published in the journal Molecules and Cells highlighted the protective…

The silent killer ‘kissing bug’ disease that ‘kills the heart slowly’ – symptoms to spot

Insects are known to spread various illnesses to humans with most people…

High cholesterol: The earthy oil that will lower your cholesterol – and it’s not olive oil

Foods to avoid include meat pies, sausages, and other fatty meats. Butter,…

Nikki Haley heads to Texas to become first presidential candidate to visit the border

Presidential hopeful Nikki Haley is visiting the southern border next week, becoming…