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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: DEVELOPMENT OF AN INTEGRATED RISK MODEL FOR FOODBORNE ZOONOTIC PARASITES IN SWINE Title: Toxoplasmosis gondii and schizophrenia: a case control study in a low Toxoplasma gondii seroprevalence Mexican population

Authors
item Alvarado-Esquivel, Cosme -
item Urbina-Alvarez, Esus David -
item Estrada-Martinez, Sergiofanny Ani -
item Torres-Castorena, Alejandro -
item Molotla-De-Leon, Gabriel -
item Liesenfeld, Oliver -
item DUBEY, JITENDER

Submitted to: Parasitology International
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: February 1, 2011
Publication Date: May 1, 2011
Citation: Alvarado-Esquivel, C., Urbina-Alvarez, E., Estrada-Martinez, S., Torres-Castorena, A., Molotla-De-Leon, G., Liesenfeld, O., Dubey, J.P. 2011. Toxoplasmosis gondii and schizophrenia: a case control study in a low Toxoplasma gondii seroprevalence Mexican population. Parasitology International. 60:151-155.

Interpretive Summary: Toxoplasma gondii is a single-celled parasite of all warm-blooded hosts worldwide. It causes mental retardation and loss of vision in children, and abortion in livestock. Cats are the main reservoir of T. gondii because they are the only hosts that can excrete the resistant stage (oocyst) of the parasite in the feces. Humans become infected by eating undercooked meat from infected animals and food and water contaminated with oocysts. Why some people become sick whereas others do not is not clear. In the present study scientists document higher Seroprevalence of T. gondii antibodies in schizophrenic patients than in the controls. The results will be of interest to biologists, parasitologists, and public health workers.

Technical Abstract: There are conflicting reports concerning the association of T. gondii infection and schizophrenia. 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 and 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. Seroprevalence of T. gondii IgG antibodies was significantly 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). Anti-T. gondii IgG levels higher than 150 IU/ml were more frequently observed in patients than in controls (10% vs 2%, respectively; P=0.02). One of two patients with recently diagnosed schizophrenia and none of the controls had anti-T. gondii IgM antibodies (P=0.01). Toxoplasma seropositivity in patients was associated with cleaning cat excrement (P=0.005), and with simple schizophrenia (ICD-10 classification: F20.6) (P=0.03). Toxoplasma seroprevalence was significantly higher in patients with simple schizophrenia (F20.6) than in those with paranoid schizophrenia (F20.0) (P=0.02). This is the first report of an association of simple schizophrenia (F20.6) and T. gondii infection.

Last Modified: 9/10/2014
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