How the Parasitic Disease Toxoplasmosis Can Affect How Humans Behave Around Cats

In a new lesson Ted-Ed lesson, biologist Jaap De Roode explains, through animation by Anton Bogaty, how the parasitic disease toxoplasmosis reproduces, how it can be spread and can affect the behavior of its hosts, including humans.

Today, about a third of the world’s population is infected with a strange disease called toxoplasmosis — and most of them never even know it. And while the parasite can multiply in practically any host, it can only reproduce sexually in the intestines of cats. Could this disease be the reason so many people love cats and keep them as pets? Jaap de Roode shares what we know about toxoplasmosis.