The association between Toxoplasma gondii infection and postpartum blues
Gao, J. M., He, Z. H., Xie, Y. T., Hide, G., Lai, D. H., Lun, Z. R.
Journal of Affective Disorder 2019, 250: 404 - 409 schizophrenia prevalence
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Introduction and Aim: Toxoplasma gondii is an intracellular protozoan parasite infecting approximately 30% of the global human population. It has often been suggested that chronic infection with T. gondii is related to personality changes and various mental disorders including depression. It is not known whether this includes post-partum blues or depression. In this study, we test the hypothesis that there is a relationship between T. gondii infection and post-partum blues by measuring the association between infection and postpartum blues. Methods: A total of 475 Chinese women who have just given birth were detected serology for Toxoplasma IgG and IgM antibodies, and evaluated the degree of depression by Hamilton Depression Scale (HAMD) score. Data were analyzed by Chi-square or Fisher's Exact tests using SPSS software. Results: We found an overall Toxoplasma seroprevalence of 5.68% (27/475; 95% CI: 3.59-7.77) which was broken down into a prevalence of 6.60% (7/106; 95% CI: 1.80-11.41) in mothers with post-partum blues and 5.42% (20/369; 95% CI: 3.10-7.74) in non-affected mothers. There was no significant association between infection and post-partum blues (p= 0.64). Conclusion: The results suggest that there is no relationship between T. gondii infection and postpartum blues, at least in this sample of patients from China