Aurelie Dawson and Niall Geoghegan
Created | 2023

Toxoplasmosis is an infection caused by a single-celled parasite called Toxoplasma gondii. The parasite can persist for long periods of time in humans (and animals), often without causing symptoms. But in pregnant women and individuals with compromised immune systems, ’Toxo’ infection can cause serious health problems.

The starlit ‘night sky’ in this image shows cancer cells in the colon (yellow and magenta) infected with Toxo parasites (cyan). Researchers Aurelie and Niall took this live snapshot with a widefield microscope after the parasites had divided to form balls inside the cells and were ready to leave and invade new cells.

A better understanding of how the Toxo parasite invades cells will help researchers work towards finding a cure for the infection.

Music by Oscar Lush 

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