Differences in personality profiles of Toxoplasma gondii infected and uninfected biologist
Flegr, J., Hrdá, Š, Havlíček, J.
Remedia-Klinická mikrobiologie 1999, 3: 268-273
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Parasitic protozoan Toxoplasma gondii induces specific changes the behavior of its intermediate hosts. Human latent toxoplasmosis (presence of anti-Toxoplasma immunity in subjects without any clinical symptoms of acute toxoplasmosis) is known to be associated with specific changes of personality profiles of infected subjects. I the present work we studied the toxoplasmosis-associated differences in personality profiles (monitored by Cattell's 16PF questionnaire) in a population of 443 university students and teachers of biology. Our results show that the factors A, G, L, N and Q3 were shifted in the opposite direction in men and women; the factor O was shifted in the same direction, however, the intensity of the shift in women was relatively low. The men with latent toxoplasmosis had lower factor G (had higher tendency to disregard rules) p=0.049, higher factor L (were more suspecting, jealous, dogmatic) p=0.015, and higher factor O (were more apprehensive, self-reproaching, insecure) p=0.046. The Toxoplasma-infected women had higher factor A (warm-hearted, outgoing, easygoing) p=0.001. Several personality factors were shifted (both in men and women) from extreme values toward the middle of the psychological scales. Therefore, the Toxoplasma-infected subjects expressed less extreme personality attitudes in factors F, M, Q1 and Q4.