Is Toxoplasma gondii infection a risk factor for leukemia? An evidence-based meta-analysis
Huang, Y., Chang, A. S., Wang, J. S., Zeng, X. Q.,
Medical Science Monitor 2016; 22.
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Background: Possible associations of parasite infection with cancer risk have recently attracted much attention. Published studies concerning the association between Toxoplasma gondii (T. gondii) infection and leukemia risk have generated inconsistent results. In the present study, we aimed to address this topic by conducting a quantitative meta-analysis. Material/Methods: Relevant publications were searched in electronic databases and eligible studies were rigorously screened and selected. Essential information was extracted and the data were pooled. Subgroup analysis on source of controls and detection target was also performed. Results: A total of 6 studies that met the inclusion criteria were selected. The overall data show that T. gondii infection might have an association with increased leukemia risk (OR=3.05; 95% CI=1.83-5.08). Similar results were shown in the subgroups regarding source of controls and detection target. Conclusions: Our results suggest that T. gondii infection might be a risk factor for leukemia, providing new insight into the etiology of leukemia. Future studies with large sample sizes in different geographic areas are needed to confirm this conclusion.