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Toxoplasma Gondi Infection in Mice Essay

GI (Gastro-Intestinal) inflammation from Toxoplasma gondii and wheat glutens contribute to schizophrenia, autism and bipolar disorder. It has been suggested that GI inflammation, allows natural microbiota and neuroactive exorphins to enter the blood steam, cross the blood brain barrier and attach to the opioid receptors. In this study exposure to Toxoplasma gondii increased anti-gluten IgG in all the mice who were inoculated. The mice were infected in three different ways, IP (injection into the peritoneal cavity), PO (fed food inoculated with the pathogen) and prenatally (injected).

When the female mice were Infected IP, they were more likely to die than males. The mock group of females injected IP, had an increased gluten IgGs, while the males did not. The female immune system responded to stress. When both male and female mice received the pathogen PO, females displayed a larger anti-gluten response. When the females were injected prenatally, the offspring produced, were seropositive to T. gondii and displayed increased gluten IgG levels. Clq levels of the offspring were also elevated (Clq plays a role in synaptic pruning).

I picked an article from PLOS (Public Library of Science),created by Dr. Patrick Brown, a biochemist at Stanford University and Dr. Michael Eisen, a computational biologist at UC Berkeley and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. They wanted to speed up progress in science and medicine by creating a nonprofit-open access, to scientific journals and literature under an open content license called the Creative Commons “attribution” license. This allowed any person to reproduce and distribute information from the website. This allows all people to learn/share knowledge, repeat tests and add more information to current studies.

This site is peer reviewed and respected as a reliable source of information. My article has many authors and sources, but in order to keep my critique to two pages I picked the first three people on the works cited. Dr. Emily Severance, received her B. S. in Zoology in 1983. She received her Ph. D. from the University of South Florida and did a postdoctoral fellowship at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine (It was ranked the 13th in the nation in 2013) where she studied neurological disorders such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. She is currently an Assistant Professor in the Stanley Division of Developmental Neurovirology.

Her research is well documented and her publications continue to grow. I feel that she has extensive education and experience in this field of study and see her as being well qualified. Geetha Kannan was the second person cited and there was not much information on her. She was an undergraduate at Johns Hopkins at the time this article was published and she has been a research assistant in at least one other study, Gene-environment interactions influence psychiatric disorders, headed by Mikhail V. Pletnikov , M. D. , Ph. D. She was an assistant and therefore I did not consider her to be a qualified source.

Thirdly, is Kristin L Gressitt. Attended Salisbury University and received a B. A. in microbiology, before going to Johns Hopkins, where she is currently working as a research specialist. As a research specialist, Kristin’s job is to work under the project manager, performing administrative and operational duties. This is often a junior level position for students, or recent graduates. I can only assume that Kristin is competent, due to the fact that she has been employed at Johns Hopkins for the last three years and has contributed to four published studies.

The major purpose of this research was to prove that co-associations between T. gondii and antibodies to wheat gluten cause an inflammatory immune response that in return, result in neuropsychiatric diseases. During my research one bias that I encountered was, the website that published this research project, makes its income by charging publishing fees. This could cause a conflict of interests. Another bias was the lack of data concerning the high mortality of female mice from IP injections. There were no post mortem toxicology or cytology reports.

I think that the target audience was set by the website. Since it is established as scholarly, this increases the likely hood that science and medical students will use this website for research. The scholarly reputation will also draw in practicing researchers, doctors and scientists who want to reference the peer reviewed articles and journals. Since this website is full access, you can get the latest findings more timely than most of the conventional research sites. The articles presentation was professional.

Bold letters stated the topic and the Abstract really pulled me in, however I do feel that the numerical findings could have been omitted from this paragraph to avoid redundancy. All the materials and methods were well documented. The same testing materials and techniques were used throughout the duration of the study. Graphs were used and it was easy to discriminate which text went to each graph. The introduction, analyses, results and discussion were very easy to follow and understand. As far as I can discern, the scientific method was followed.

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