The schizophrenia and Toxoplasma gondii connection: Infectious, immune or both?

Kocaeli University, Medical Faculty, Department of Clinical Microbiology, Kocaeli, Turkey.
Advances in Therapy (Impact Factor: 2.27). 07/2008; 25(7):703-9. DOI: 10.1007/s12325-008-0063-5
Source: PubMed


Recent research has suggested a possible link between toxoplasmic agents and schizophrenia. We aimed to assess this by measuring Toxoplasma gondii-associated antibodies in schizophrenia patients and controls
We used a commercially available enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) kit to measure the level of immunoglobulin G (IgG) and IgM antibodies in serum samples from schizophrenia patients (n=40) and from a group of non-schizophrenic control subjects (n=37)
Among schizophrenic patients, 16 (40%) showed IgG seropositivity and two (5%) showed IgM seropositivity. Among the control group, five (13.5%) were found have IgG seropositivity and one (2.7%) showed IgM seropositivity. In our study we found that IgG T gondii antibodies were significantly higher in schizophrenia patients compared with controls
This study supports the theory that toxoplasmic agents may have a role in the aetiology of schizophrenia.

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    • "Schizophrenia, like multiple sclerosis and Parkinson's disease, is a chronic illness of the central nervous system and as such, infectious agents can also be blamed as a potential etiological factor, perhaps in persons who also have an increased genetic susceptibility (Torrey and Yolken 2003, Çelik et al. 2013). In recent years, serological studies on patients with schizophrenia have been carried out showing that the rate of anti-Toxoplasma gondii antibodies were higher in patients than in all the selected control groups (Yolken et al. 2001, Çetinkaya et al. 2007, Tamer et al. 2008). We did not compare seropositivity rate in the study group with a healthy control group, which was out of the range of this study, but the overall anti-Toxoplasma IgG positivity in our patient study group was 46% and the diffference between the seropositivity rates of two gender was not statistically significant. "
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    ABSTRACT: The aim of the present study was to investigate the association between various clinical aspects of schizophrenia and seropositivity against Toxoplasma gondii (Nicolle et Manceaux, 1908). We selected 94 patients with schizophrenia and investigated the seropositivity rate for anti-T. gondii IgG antibodies by ELISA. Clinical parameters of schizophrenic patients such as illness type and status, clinical course, awareness of the illness and need for electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) were compared with their serological status. Anti-T. gondii IgG antibodies were detected in 43 (46%) of schizophrenic patients. Chronic patients had a rate of 34 (72%) seropositivity, whereas 9 (22%) of the patients with partial remission showed evidence of latent toxoplasmosis. Of continuous patients, 35 (81%) were found to be seropositive and this rate was significantly more than in the other groups. The rate of latent toxoplasmosis was detected significantly higher in patients who lack awareness of schizophrenia (36, i.e. 72%) than the patients who were aware of their illnesses (7, i.e. 16%). Anti-T. gondii IgG antibodies were detected in 38 (70%) of ECT performed patients while this percentage was 13% in the ones who had never been treated with ECT. This difference was also statistically significant. We showed that Toxoplasma-infected subjects had 15× higher probability of having continuous course of disease than Toxoplasma-free subjects. Our results put forth the possibility of latent toxoplasmosis to have a negative impact on the course of schizophrenia and treatment response of schizophrenic patients.
    Folia parasitologica 05/2015; 62(1). DOI:10.14411/fp.2015.015 · 1.15 Impact Factor
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    • ".1 1 10 100 Odds Ratio Legend 1 Previous Studies Wende 1956 Caglieris 1958 Cook Derrick 1961 Yegerov 1962 Berengo1966 Garrido & Redondo 1968 Cui 1984 Lu 1990 Zhang 1994 Wang 1995 Lian 1996 Li 1999 Mia & Ding 1999 Gu 2001 Yolken 2001 Lu 2002 Torrey & Yolken 2003 Leweke 2004 Gallo 2005 Schwarz 2005 Dickerson 2005 Wang 2006 Tankuksel 2010 Ave 2 New Studies Zhu 2003 Xu 2005 El Sahn 2005 Sun 2005 Cetinkaya 2007 Hinze-Selch 2007 Tamer 2008 Dogruman-Al 2009 Sarael-Sahnesaraei 2009 Yuksel 2010 Daryani 2010 Hamidinejat 2010 Liu 2011 Tedla 2011 Alvarado-Esquival 2011 Ave Total Group Combined 1 Previous Studies 2 New Studies Fig. 1 "
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    ABSTRACT: The failure to find genes of major effect in schizophrenia has refocused attention on nongenetic, including infectious factors. In a previous study, antibodies to Toxoplasma gondii were found to be elevated in 23 studies of schizophrenia (OR 2.73; 95% CI 2.10-3.60). The current study replicates this finding with 15 additional studies (OR 2.71; 95% CI 1.93-3.80) and compares this with other identified schizophrenia risk factors. The highest risk factors are having an affected mother (relative risks [RR] 9.31; 95% CI 7.24-11.96), father (RR 7.20; 95% CI 5.10-10.16), or sibling (RR 6.99; 95% CI 5.38-9.08) or being the offspring of immigrants from selected countries (RR 4.5; 95% CI 1.5-13.1). Intermediate risk factors, in addition to infection with T. gondii, include being an immigrant from and to selected countries (RR 2.7; 95% CI 2.3-3.2), being born in (RR 2.24; 95% CI 1.92-2.61) or raised in (RR 2.75; 95% CI 2.31-3.28) an urban area, cannabis use (OR 2.10-2.93; 95% CI 1.08-6.13), having minor physical anomalies (OR 2.23; 95% CI 1.42-3.58), or having a father 55 or older (OR 2.21-5.92; 95% CI 1.46-17.02). Low-risk factors include a history of traumatic brain injury (OR 1.65; 95% CI 1.17-2.32), sex abuse in childhood (OR 1.46; 95% CI 0.84-2.52), obstetrical complications (OR 1.29-1.38; 95% CI 1.00-1.84), having a father 45 or older (OR 1.21-1.66; 95% CI 1.09-2.01), specific genetic polymorphisms (OR 1.09-1.24; 95% CI 1.06-1.45), birth seasonality (OR 1.07-1.95; 95% CI 1.05-2.91), maternal exposure to influenza (RR 1.05; 95% CI 0.98-1.12), or prenatal stress (RR 0.98-1.00; 95% CI 0.85-1.16).
    Schizophrenia Bulletin 03/2012; 38(3):642-7. DOI:10.1093/schbul/sbs043 · 8.45 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Schizophrenia is a serious neuropsychiatric disease of uncertain etiology. Previous studies have demonstrated that antibodies to Toxoplasma gondii infection are associated with an increased risk of schizophrenia. The objective of this study was to analyze anti-T. gondii antibodies in 477 Chinese schizophrenia patients using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) based on recombinant surface antigen 1 (rSAG1), recombinant bradyzoite antigen 1 (rBAG1) and the soluble tachyzoite antigens (STAg) of T. gondii RH strain. Results showed that among the sero-positives (IgG and/or IgM) for T. gondii infection examined in schizophrenia patients, sero-positive samples for rSAG1, rBAG1 and STAg were 20.5% (98/477), 20.5% (98/477) and 23.5% (112/477) respectively, while compared to 210 blood donors, sero-positive (IgG and/or IgM) samples for these antigens (rSAG1, rBAG1 and STAg) were only 5.7% (12/210), 6.2% (13/210) and 5.7% (12/210), respectively. Furthermore, when IgG antibody reaction in the schizophrenia sera was compared with the rBAG1 and rSAG1, results demonstrated that beside the cases which can be detected by both rSAG1 and rBAG1, some sero-positive for T. gondii in schizophrenia sera can only be detected either by rSAG1 or rBAG1. This phenomenon was also observed in the detection of IgM with rSAG1 and rBAG1. 5.9% (28/477) of cases of schizophrenia which are positive for IgG or IgM by rSAG1 are negative for STAg, while 9.2% (44/477) of the schizophrenia cases which are positive for IgG or IgM by rBAG1 are negative for STAg. Although STAg can also be used to diagnose T. gondii infection from schizophrenia patients, it may not actually indicate the infection as some positive samples may be mistakenly considered to be negative. In conclusion, our results demonstrate that the sero-positive rate for T. gondii in the Chinese schizophrenia patients was higher than blood donors. More importantly, our results provide evidence that the combination of rSAG1 and rBAG1 antigens in the diagnosis of T. gondii infection could closely reflect the actual infection of this parasite in schizophrenia patients.
    Acta Parasitologica 12/2011; 56(4). DOI:10.2478/s11686-011-0082-2 · 0.91 Impact Factor
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