Relationship between toxoplasmosis and obsessive compulsive disorder: A systematic review and meta-analysis
Nayeri Chegeni, T., Sarvi, S. Amouei, A. Moosazadeh, M. Hosseininejad, Z. Aghayan, S. A. Daryani, A.
PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases 19, 13
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Background A few studies investigated the relationship between toxoplasmosis and mental disorders, such as obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). However, the specific nature of the association between Toxoplasma gondii (T. gondii) infection and OCD is not yet clear. The aim of this study was to collect information on the relationship between OCD and toxoplasmosis and assess whether patients with toxoplasmosis are prone to OCD. Methods For the purpose of this study, 6 major electronic databases and the Internet search engine Google Scholar were searched for the published articles up to July 30(th), 2018 with no restriction of language. The inverse variance method and the random effect model were used to combine the data. The values of odds ratio (OR) were estimated at 95% confidence interval (CI). Results A total of 9 case-control and 3 cross-sectional studies were included in our systematic review. However, 11 of these 12 articles were entered into the meta-analysis containing 9873 participants, out of whom 389 were with OCD (25.96% positive for toxoplasmosis) and 9484 were without OCD (17.12% positive for toxoplasmosis). The estimation of the random effect model indicated a significant common OR of 1.96 [95% CI: 1.32-2.90]. Conclusion This systematic review and meta-analysis revealed that toxoplasmosis could be as an associated factor for OCD (OR = 1.96). However, further prospective investigations are highly recommended to illuminate the underlying pathophysiological mechanisms of T. gondii infection in OCD and to better investigate the relationship between OCD and T. gondii infection. Author summary Toxoplasma gondii (T. gondii) is an obligate neurotropic parasite that infected about 25-30% of the total human population in the developed and developing countries. The obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) is a psychiatric disease that affects the income and quality of life. Some studies confirmed an association between infectious agents as the associated or protective factors specifying the development of psychiatry diseases. Among various pathogens associated with psychological disorders, most of the attention is on T. gondii, which has a life-long asymptomatic latent phase after a short acute stage in healthy individuals. The detrimental effect of T. gondii on immunocompromised people and pregnant women is an important concern for public health. The correlation between toxoplasmosis and OCD is still relatively understudied with a paucity of documented findings. The previous meta-analysis reviewed only two studies and reported a 3.4-fold greater chance of OCD. The results of our study presented stronger evidence of a positive relationship between toxoplasmosis and OCD. Eventually, our research team hopes to present an overview of what is known and encourage more intensive research to determine the real impact of this parasite on the occurrence of OCD that may contribute to the prevention of OCD worldwid