Tackling toxoplasmosis: A new animated film - Veterinary Practice
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Tackling toxoplasmosis: A new animated film

Moredun, in collaboration with the University of São Paulo, UKRI and FAPESP, have create a new animated film about the world’s most successful parasite, Toxoplasma gondii

 

 

Moredun, in collaboration with the University of São Paulo, UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) and Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo (FAPESP), have released a new and exciting short animation in their entertaining animation series to help inform and educate people about a parasite called Toxoplasma gondii. This new animated film is called “tackling toxoplasmosis”.

Tackling Toxoplasmosis is a fun and engaging animation describing the life cycle, transmission routes and control options for a tiny parasite of huge veterinary and public health importance and it has been described as the world’s most successful parasite.

The toxoplasmosis animation film was developed as part of a research project funded by Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) (UKRI) and FAPESP (São Paulo Research Foundation, Brazil) looking at differences in virulence in Toxoplasma strains.

Toxoplasma gondii is widespread and can infect all warm-blooded animals, yet many people have never heard of it and do not know how it is spread. The parasite is shed in the faeces of cats and can cause abortion in sheep, leading to economic losses for farmers and is also a public health problem as it can be transmitted to people through undercooked infected meat and contaminated water. In some parts of the world, such as South America, strains of the parasite can cause severe disease, even in healthy people.

Although it is a widespread parasite, there are ways to control and prevent infection in people and animals. Education is key, and this toxoplasmosis animated film outlines the control options available for farmers to prevent infection in their livestock and for people to avoid infection from contaminated food or water.

Created by the very talented team at Ping Creates, led by Selina Wagner, this animation, which is available in English and Portuguese, simplifies the complex life cycle of Toxoplasma and describes the different ways to prevent infection. The toxoplasmosis film also highlights the current research on Toxoplasma being undertaken by scientists at Moredun and the University of São Paulo.

Dr Clare Hamilton, project lead on BBSRC-FAPESP grant: “We really enjoyed working with Selina and her team and they have done a superb job creating a fun and engaging animation.

“The life cycle and transmission routes of Toxoplasma can be quite complicated, but the animation makes it easy to follow and gets all the key points across. It is a fantastic educational resource for us to share with farmers, stakeholders, and members of the public, both in the UK and Brazil.

Dr Hilda Fátima Jesus Pena, principal scientist at University of São Paulo and co-investigator on BBSRC-FAPESP grant, said: “Ping Creates did a really great job with this animated video. We enjoyed contributing ideas to the video and helping with the Brazilian Portuguese translation of the narration.

“Toxoplasmosis occurs widely in Brazil, and the film will be an incredible educational tool for different audiences (it is clear, light in tone, and thoroughly informative). We hope it will increase awareness regarding this significant disease”.

This animation was funded by UKRI, FAPESP (grant #2019/21697-6) and the Moredun Foundation and can be found on the Moredun website.

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