Although the highest numbers of studies linking an infectious agent with schizophrenia has involved the parasite Toxoplasma gondii, the mechanistic underpinnings of this correlation has remained unaddressed. Incidentally, CD8 T cells, which play a pivotal role in mediating long-term immunity to Toxoplasma, are downregulated in schizophrenia patients. Recent studies have demonstrated that CD8 response is also impaired during chronic toxoplasmosis in murine models. In light of these new findings, in this article, we discuss the potential role of CD8 T cells in causing altered mental status in Toxoplasma seropositive schizophrenia patients.
Chronic heart failure (CHF) involves interactions between the cardiovascular, neuroendocrine and immune systems. This study investigated the seropositivity rate for anti-Toxoplasma IgG and IgM antibodies by ELISA in patients with CHF. Ninety-seven patients with CHF and 50 healthy volunteers were selected for this investigation. The seropositivity rate for anti-Toxoplasma IgG antibodies among CHF patients (68%) was significantly higher than in healthy volunteers (36%). Thus, parasitological screening of this group of patients should be periodically performed to prevent the possible dissemination of toxoplasmosis.