Seroprevalence and genetic characterization of Toxoplasma gondii in cancer patients in Anhui Province, Eastern China
Wang, L., He, L. Y., Meng, D. D., Chen, Z. W., Wen, H., Fang, G. S., Luo, Q. L., Huang, K. Q., Shen, J. L.
Parasites & Vectors 2015; 8.
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Background: Recent studies have indicated the predominance of Toxoplasma gondii genotype Chinese 1 in animals in China. However, little is known of the genetic features of the parasite in humans. This study aims to determine the prevalence of anti-T. gondii antibodies based on which the genetic character of the parasite was identified in cancer patients in China. Methods: A total of 1014 serum samples with malignant neoplasms were collected from six tertiary-care hospitals (HAUCM, APH, HAMU, XAH, FHH and HBMC) from January, 2012 to August, 2013. Antibodies against T. gondii were examined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Blood samples were subsequently used for PCR assay to detect T. gondii DNA (gra6). The DNA positive samples were subjected to genotyping using a multiplex multilocus nested PCR-RFLP at 10 loci, including sag1, sag2, sag3, btub, gra6, l358, c22-8, c29-2, pk1 and apico. Samples from the patients were anonymous and only data with regard to age and gender was available at sample collection. Results: Overall, 8.38% (85/1014) of the examined patients showed positive antibodies against T. gondii. Among them, 61 (6.02%) were seropositive only for IgG, 16 (1.58%) were only for IgM, and 8 (0.79%) were found to be positive for both IgG and IgM. The seroprevalence of antibodies to Toxoplasma ranged from 5.8% to 11.0%, without regional difference (x(2) = 4.764, P = 0.445). No significant differences of the positive rates of T. gondii infection were noted in genders (male, 8.96%; female, 7.45%) (x(2) = 0.707, P = 0.400) and in ages (x(2) = 1.172, P = 0.947). Of 1014 DNA samples, 36 (3.55%) were positive for T. gondii by nested PCR at gra6 locus and nine gave rise to complete genotyping results. All samples with achieved PCR-RFLP genotyping showed a common genetic character of type Chinese 1 (ToxoDB#9). Conclusion: Seroprevalence of toxoplasmosis in immunosuppressed individuals is rarely reported in China and we presented a positive rate of 8.38% in cancer patients. Toxoplasma genomic DNA genotyping demonstrated a common genetic character of Chinese 1, indicating a possible pathogenic origin of animals in human infection.