Toxoplasma gondii infection and schizophrenia a case control study in a low Toxoplasma seroprevalence Mexican population.

Parasitol Int. 2011 Jun;60(2):151-5. Epub  2011 Feb 1.


Faculty of Medicine, Juárez University of Durango State, Avenida Universidad S/N esquina Fanny Anitua, 34000 Durango, Dgo, Mexico.


There are conflicting reports concerning the association of Toxoplasma gondii infection and schizophrenia in humans. Therefore, we determined such association in a Mexican population of Mestizo ethnicity. Through a case-control study design, 50 schizophrenic patients and 150 control subjects matched by gender, age, residence place, and ethnicity were examined with enzyme-linked immunoassays for the presence and levels of T. gondii IgG antibodies and for the presence of T. gondii IgM antibodies. Schizophrenic patients attended a public psychiatric hospital in Durango City, Mexico, and the control group consisted of individuals of the general population of the same city. Socio-demographic, clinical and behavioral characteristics from the study subjects were also obtained. Both the seroprevalence and the level of T.gondii IgG antibodies were higher in schizophrenic patients (10/50; 20%) than in control subjects (8/150; 5.3%) (OR=4.44; 95% CI: 1.49-13.37; P=0.003). The IgG T. gondii levels higher than 150 IU/ml were more frequently observed in patients than in controls (10% versus 2%, respectively; P=0.02). One (50%) of the two patients with recently diagnosed schizophrenia and none of the controls had T. gondii IgM antibodies (P=0.01). T. gondii seropositivity was significantly higher in patients with a history of cleaning cat excrement (P=0.005), and suffering from simple schizophrenia (ICD-10 classification: F20.6) (P=0.03) than patients without these characteristics. Toxoplasma seroprevalence was also significantly higher in patients with simple schizophrenia (F20.6) than in those with paranoid schizophrenia (F20.0) (P=0.02). This study provides elements to clarify the controversial information on the association of T. gondii infection and schizophrenia.

Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd.

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