A single-celled parasite that is found in cats has infected more than a third of the human population and could increase the risk of brain cancer, a new study published in the online edition of the journal Biology Letters reveals.
Known as Toxoplasma gondii, the organism is not usually harmful to humans but has the capacity to be fatal for unborn babies and also affect the nerve systems of those who have weak immune systems.
Researchers from CNRS research institute in France suggests that those who are infected with the organism are also at a higher risk of developing brain cancer. The researchers found that based on the range of infection prevalence, it could increase the risk of brain cancer by 1.8 times.
"We feel our results are sufficiently strong to propose that T. gondii potentially increase the risk of brain cancer in humans", lead researcher Frederic Thomas said.