Neuroinflammation-Associated Aspecific Manipulation of Mouse Predator Fear by Toxoplasma gondii.

In rodents, the decrease of felid aversion induced by Toxoplasma gondii, a phenomenon termed fatal attraction, is interpreted as an adaptive manipulation by the neurotropic protozoan parasite. With the aim of understanding how the parasite induces such specific behavioral modifications, we performed a multiparametric analysis of T. gondii-induced changes on host behavior, physiology, and brain transcriptome as well as parasite cyst load and distribution. Using a set of complementary behavioral tests, we provide strong evidence that T. gondii lowers general anxiety in infected mice, increases explorative behaviors, and surprisingly alters predator aversion without selectivity toward felids. Furthermore, we show a positive correlation between the severity of the behavioral alterations and the cyst load, which indirectly reflects the level of inflammation during brain colonization. Taken together, these findings refute the myth of a selective loss of cat fear in T. gondii-infected mice and point toward widespread immune-related alterations of behaviors.


The elephant’s trunk will inspire a revolutionary robot

An international team, including UNIGE, will analyse the African elephant’s trunk, and its exceptional agility and versatility, to create a robot guided by touch.


Organization of cellular compartments by liquid phase separation

04.02.2020 11:00, A150 (Sciences II)

Frank Julicher (MPI dresden).
hosted by: M. Gonzalez Gaitan.


Our department hosts 12 research laboratories gathering close to 200 scientists, engineers and technical staff. Research topics cover a large variety of topics, such as developmental genetics and neurogenetics, regeneration, evo-devo, physics of biology, phylogenetics or anthropology.



Teaching life sciences at the University of Geneva is an important duty for all staff scientists. In addition to the bachelor programme, we also propose specific masters and PhD specialisations through various programmes.



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