Osteoarthritis (OA), or degenerative joint disease, affects millions of people worldwide. We are currently lacking surrogate markers of the early stages of the articular cartilage degradation occurring in patients with OA. Conventional radiographic measurements provide diagnostic information for patients with an advanced stage of the disease. Conventional MRI is a robust, non-invasive imaging modality for OA but it does not provide functional information related to the cartilage.
Toxoplasma gondii is a pathogen that is able to infect virtually all species of warm-blooded animals. In humans, this parasite is responsible for a potentially serious disease called toxoplasmosis. This pathology affects immuno-compromised patients and, in the congenital form of the disease, the parasite can also be transmitted from the mother to her foetus through the placenta. T. gondii replicates in the tissues of the contaminated host, where it causes significant damage.
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