The effects of latent Toxoplasma gondii infection on the behavior and personality characteristics of university students
Anadolu Psikiyatri Dergisi-Anatolian Journal of Psychiatry 2020, 21: 70 - 76
Click for abstract
Objective: It is well known that one-third of the world population is infected with toxoplasma gondii (T. gondii), and the seroprevalence varies according to socioeconomic status and hygienic habits. Nowadays, it's thought that T. gondii which is related asymptomatic latent infections in brain and muscle tissue may be related with neuropsychiatric conditions. Methods: T. gondii lgG levels of serum samples obtained from 150 volunteer university students who participated in the study according to inclusion criteria were determined according to the manufacturer's recommendations by ELISA (Enzyme-Linked lmmunosorbent Assay) method. Criminal profiles (accident claims, criminal conviction), impulsive behaviors (non-suicidal self-injury, attempted suicide) and personality traits (extra-version, agreeableness, conscientiousness, neuroticism and openness to experience) of the participants were recorded by appropriate scales and/or clinical interviews. The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between T. gondii seropositivity and impulsive behaviors such as suicide attempt and physical injury, criminal events such as crime and traffic accidents and 5 factor personality types in psychiatric healthy individuals. Results: Sixty-nine (46%) of participants were male and 81 were female (54%), ages ranged from 20 to 37 (25.71 +/- 3.08) and the rate of seropositivity was determined as 30.66%. The relationship between seropositivity and accident claims was not statistically significant; the criminal conviction, non-suicidal self-injury and attempted suicide were statistically correlated. There was no statistically difference in terms of the features of extraversion or openness to experience between seronegative and seropositive groups. However, the T. gondii lgG were statistically highly correlated with lower agreeableness, lower conscientiousness and higher neuroticism scores. Conclusion: The data obtained from our study which is the first study conducted with this context in our country, confirms that latent T. gondii may be associated with negative behavioral outcomes. In order to fully understand the possible effects of T. gondii in psychiatric disorders, prospective-based studies are needed.