Association between Toxoplasma gondii infection and psychiatric disorders in Zhejiang, Southeastern China
Chen, X., Chen, B., Hou, X., Zheng, C., Yang, X., Ke, J., Hu, X., Tan, F.
Acta Tropica, 192, 82–86. doi:10.1016/j.actatropica.2019.02.001
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Increased rates of exposure to Toxoplasma gondii have been found in patients with psychiatric disorders globally, but there is scarce information about the epidemiology of T. gondii infection in psychiatric patients in Zhejiang Province, Southeastern China. In a case-control survey, we measured IgG and IgM class antibodies against T. gondii in 798 patients from a public psychiatric hospital in the city of Wenzhou, Zhejiang Province, and in 681 non-psychiatric controls from the general population in the same region. Subjects in each group were matched by sex and age with an enzyme-linked immunoassay. Seroprevalence of anti-Toxoplasma IgG antibodies in psychiatric patients (13.3%, 106/798) was significantly higher than in the control population (9.4%, 64/681) (P= 0.022). Anti-Toxoplasma IgM antibodies were also significantly higher in the psychiatric patients (4.1%, 33/798) than in the control group (1.9%, 13/681) (P= 0.016). Additionally, we found significantly elevated seropositive rates of anti-Toxoplasma IgG and IgM in patients with schizophrenia, as well as those with bipolar disorder. The identification of specific anti-Toxoplasma antibodies in psychiatric patients may be useful for assessing infection and timely initiation of treatment.