Introduction: Schizophrenia is a serious neuropsychiatric disease of uncertain etiology. Epidemiological and neuropathological studies have also indicated that some cases of schizophrenia may be associated with infectious agents. Toxoplasma gondii (T.gondii) is a coccidian parasite found worldwide, that infects nearly one third of humanity. To investigate a potential association between Toxoplasma infection and schizophrenia.
Materials and Methods: This research was carried out as case control study on two different groups. Case group consisted of eighty-eight who were first hospitalized for schizophrenia. The control population consisted of ninety health blood donors referred to Yazd blood bank. We measured the levels of class-specific IgG, IgM, antibodies to T. gondii in the serum samples using ELISA method according to manufacture instruction.
Results: There was no significant difference in the age of two groups (38.4±12.8 vs. 39.5±13.5 years). 46 out of 90 individual in control (51.1%) had IgG antibody higher than 15 Iu/ml and considered protective to T. gondii infection. Also 44 out of 88 (50%) in case group had IgG level higher than 15 Iu/ml. There was no significant difference in IgG levels in two groups (P=0.4). There was insignificant difference between IgG levels and age. Only 4 sera in control and 5 sera in case group were positive for anti-T.gondii from IgM class.
Conclusions: Our findings indicate that T.gondii infections may not play a role in the clinical manifestation of patients with schizophrenia. Additional studies will have to elucidate the causative relation between infection with T. gondii and psychiatric disorders.
Keywords: Schizophrenia, Toxoplasma gondii, Infection, Protective.