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Am J Psychiatry. 2008 Jan;165(1):99-106. Epub 2007 Dec 17.

Selected infectious agents and risk of schizophrenia among U.S. military personnel.

Author information

1
Department of Epidemiology, Division of Preventive Medicine, Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, 503 Robert Grant Ave., Silver Spring, MD 20901. David.Niebuhr@us.army.mil.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

A number of studies have reported associations between Toxoplasma gondii (T. gondii) infection and the risk of schizophrenia. Most existing studies have used small populations and postdiagnosis specimens. As part of a larger research program, the authors conducted a hypothesis-generating case control study of T. gondii antibodies among individuals discharged from the U.S. military with a diagnosis of schizophrenia and serum specimens available from both before and after diagnosis.

METHOD:

The patients (N=180) were military members who had been hospitalized and discharged from military service with a diagnosis of schizophrenia. Healthy comparison subjects (3:1 matched on several factors) were members of the military who were not discharged. The U.S. military routinely collects and stores serum specimens of military service members. The authors used microplate-enzyme immunoassay to measure immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibody levels to T. gondii, six herpes viruses, and influenza A and B viruses and immunoglobulin M (IgM) antibody levels to T. gondii in pre- and postdiagnosis serum specimens.

RESULTS:

A significant positive association between the T. gondii IgG antibody and schizophrenia was found; the overall hazard ratio was 1.24. The association between IgG and schizophrenia varied by the time between the serum specimen collection and onset of illness.

CONCLUSION:

The authors found significant associations between increased levels of scaled T. gondii IgG antibodies and schizophrenia for antibodies measured both prior to and after diagnosis.

PMID:
18086751
DOI:
10.1176/appi.ajp.2007.06081254
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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