Toxoplasma gondii Infection and Self-directed Violence in MothersToxoplasma Gondii and Self-directed Violence.

Archives of general psychiatry (Impact Factor: 14.48). 07/2012; 69(11):1-8. DOI: 10.1001/archgenpsychiatry.2012.668
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CONTEXT Two studies based on clinical samples have found an association between Toxoplasma gondii infection and history of suicide attempt. To our knowledge, these findings have never been replicated in a prospective cohort study. OBJECTIVE To examine whether T gondii-infected mothers have an increased risk of self-directed violence, violent suicide attempts, and suicide and whether the risk depends on the level of T gondii IgG antibodies. DESIGN Register-based prospective cohort study. Women were followed up from the date of delivery, 1992 to 1995 until 2006. SETTING Denmark. PARTICIPANTS A cohort of 45 788 women born in Denmark whose level of Toxoplasma-specific IgG antibodies was measured in connection with child birth between 1992 and 1995. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES Incidence rates of self-directed violence, violent suicide attempts, and suicide in relation to T gondii seropositivity and serointensity. RESULTS T gondii-infected mothers had a relative risk of self-directed violence of 1.53 (95% CI, 1.27-1.85) compared with noninfected mothers, and the risk seemed to increase with increasing IgG antibody level. For violent suicide attempts, the relative risk was 1.81 (95% CI, 1.13-2.84) and for suicide, 2.05 (95% CI, 0.78-5.20). A similar association was found for repetition of self-directed violence, with a relative risk of 1.54 (95% CI, 0.98-2.39). CONCLUSION Women with a T gondii infection have an increased risk of self-directed violence.

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    • "In turn this would increase an imbalance in serotonin, which would exacerbate a depressive state, potentially resulting in inward-directed violence. Pedersen et al. (2012) also found that infected women were twice as likely to commit suicide, and 1.5 times more likely to attempt suicide, than uninfected women. Further evidence as to the role of T. gondii in depression arose from Yagmur et al. (2010) who found a 48% prevalence rate of T. gondii infection among patients admitted to hospital following a suicide attempt, in relation to 23% in those admitted for other reasons. "
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    DESCRIPTION: Since 1908,Toxoplasma gondii was largely thought to only cause physical disease in humans. The congenital, ocular, acute and chronic effects of toxoplasmosis were well documented throughout the medical community. Later research revealing the importance of felids in the lifecycle of T. gondii shed light on the role of humans and pathways of infection. However, the recent discovery of a potential link between some mental disorders and T. gondii infection has resulted in a surge of research into the neurological and psychological effects. Such research has revealed a potential role in the development of schizophrenia, depression and suicidal behaviour. In spite of this, very little research was undertaken into whether T. gondii prevalence has a role in causing outward-directed aggression, namely homicide. One small study of 20 European countries found a correlation between the two factors. This study aimed to expand upon such research by including a wider data, comprising of European, Asian, Oceanian, African and American populations. It was found that there was a significant, strong positive correlation between T. gondii prevalence and homicide count across all 114 countries included. However, findings per region differed, resulting in significant, strong positive correlations in the Americas, Europe and Asia, a non-significant, positive correlation in Africa and a non-significant negative correlation in Oceania. It was surmised that these results, while indicative of a relationship, still required further research in order to establish a direction. Implications on existing research, potential avenues for further research and potential social and ethical implications of the findings were discussed.
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    • "Though previously considered harmless in immune-competent adults, latent toxoplasmosis has recently been associated with suicidal self-directed violence (SSDV), although the mechanisms underlying this association are not fully understood (Arling et al., 2009; Ling et al., 2011; Okusaga et al., 2011; Pedersen et al., 2012; Postolache and Cook, 2013; Yagmur et al., 2010; Zhang et al., 2012b). Sub-clinical personality traits, (Fekadu et al., 2010; Flegr and Havlicek, 1999; Flegr and Hrdy, 1994; Flegr et al., 2000; Flegr et al., 1996; Lindova et al., 2010, 2006) subtle neurological deficits , (Havlicek et al., 2001) and risk of motor vehicle accidents (Flegr et al., 2002; Kocazeybek et al., 2009; Yereli et al., 2006) have been previously reported in association with latent T. gondii infection. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background: Latent chronic infection with Toxoplasma gondii (T. gondii), a common neurotropic pathogen, has been previously linked with suicidal self-directed violence (SSDV). We sought to determine if latent infection with T. gondii is associated with trait aggression and impulsivity, intermediate phenotypes for suicidal behavior, in psychiatrically healthy adults. Methods: Traits of aggression and impulsivity were analyzed in relationship to IgG antibody seropositivity for T. gondii and two other latent neurotropic infections, herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV1) and cytomegalovirus (CMV). One thousand community-residing adults residing in the Munich metropolitan area with no Axis I or II conditions by SCID for DSM-IV (510 men, 490 women, mean age 53.6 ± 15.8, range 20-74). Plasma samples were tested for IgG antibodies to T. gondii, HSV-1 and CMV by ELISA. Self-reported ratings of trait aggression scores (Questionnaire for Measuring Factors of Aggression [FAF]) and trait impulsivity (Sensation-Seeking Scale-V [SSS-V]) were analyzed using linear multivariate methods. Results: T. gondii IgG seropositivity was significantly associated with higher trait reactive aggression scores among women (p < .01), but not among men. T. gondii-positivity was also associated with higher impulsive sensation-seeking (SSS-V Disinhibition) among younger men (p < .01) aged 20-59 years old (median age = 60). All associations with HSV-1 and CMV were not significant. Conclusions: Aggression and impulsivity, personality traits considered as endophenotypes for SSDV, are associated with latent T. gondii infection in a gender and age-specific manner, and could be further investigated as prognostic and treatment targets in T. gondii-positive individuals at risk for SSDV.
    Journal of Psychiatric Research 09/2014; 60. DOI:10.1016/j.jpsychires.2014.09.019 · 3.96 Impact Factor
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    • "Toxoplasma infection may evolve brain dopamine dysregulation (Torrey et al., 2007; Fekadu et al., 2010). Longitudinal and cross-sectional trials in seropositive females with chronic toxoplasmosis have shown high risk of self-harm, accidents and non-fatal suicidal aggression than in seronegative individuals (Pedersen et al., 2012; Zhang et al., 2012). "
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    ABSTRACT: Over one billion people worldwide are predicted to harbor Toxoplasma infection frequently with unknown lifelong health consequences. Toxoplasmosis is an important cause of foodborne, inflammatory illnesses, as well as congenital abnormalities. Ubiquitous Toxoplasma has a unique tropism for central nervous system with a mind-bugging effect and is transmitted sexually through semen. Currently available therapies are ineffective for persistent chronic disease and congenital toxoplasmosis or have severe side effects which may result in life-threatening complications. There is an urgent need for safe and effective therapies to eliminate or treat this cosmopolitan infectious and inflammatory disease. This investigation discusses pathogenesis of maternal and congenital toxoplasmosis, the currently available therapies in practice, and the experimental therapeutic modalities for promising future trials.
    Frontiers in Microbiology 07/2014; 5:385. DOI:10.3389/fmicb.2014.00385 · 3.99 Impact Factor
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