Toxoplasma gondii infection and behavioral outcomes in humans: a systematic review
Martinez, V. O. , Lima, F. W. D., . de Carvalho, C. F, Menezes, J. A.
Parasitology Research 2018; 117: 3059-3065
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Studies suggest that the protozoan Toxoplasma gondii can disturb human behavior. This study aimed to systematically review the scientific literature on the possible associations between Toxoplasma gondii infection and neurobehavioral abnormalities in humans. We reviewed and summarized the studies published since 1990. The descriptors used were related to T. gondii infection and behavioral outcomes in humans; the main databases of the medical literature were accessed. The results of eight original articles published between 1994 and 2016 were evaluated and described. The most common serological method was the enzyme immunoassay. Most of the researchers used validated instruments for behavioral evaluation. Seven studies reported some association between the prevalence of anti-T. gondii antibodies and some altered behavioral aspects in adult humans; these studies focused on adult population in Europe and the USA. The most reported behavioral deviations are related to greater impulsivity and aggressiveness. There are very few studies on this subject, which present some limitations for inference and conclusions: most were cross-sectional studies, with a small sample size and in similar populations. Investigations with a larger sample size of different population groups should be performed to evaluate multiple factors.