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Eur Psychiatry. 2017 Feb;40:82-87. doi: 10.1016/j.eurpsy.2016.09.001. Epub 2016 Dec 16.

Toxoplasma-infected subjects report an Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder diagnosis more often and score higher in Obsessive-Compulsive Inventory.

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Division of Biology, Faculty of Science, Charles University, Vinicna 7, CZ-128 44 Prague, Czech Republic; National Institute of Mental Health, Topolová 748, CZ-250 67 Klecany, Czech Republic. Electronic address:
National Institute of Mental Health, Topolová 748, CZ-250 67 Klecany, Czech Republic.



Latent toxoplasmosis, the life-long presence of dormant stages of Toxoplasma in immunoprivileged organs and of anamnestic IgG antibodies in blood, affects about 30% of humans. Infected subjects have an increased incidence of various disorders, including schizophrenia. Several studies, as well as the character of toxoplasmosis-associated disturbance of neurotransmitters, suggest that toxoplasmosis could also play an etiological role in Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD).


The aim of the present cross-sectional study performed on a population of 7471 volunteers was to confirm the association between toxoplasmosis and OCD, and toxoplasmosis and psychological symptoms of OCD estimated by the standard Obsessive-Compulsive Inventory-Revised (OCI-R).


Incidence of OCD was 2.18% (n=39) in men and 2.28% (n=83) in women. Subjects with toxoplasmosis had about a 2.5 times higher odds of OCD and about a 2.7 times higher odds of learning disabilities. The incidence of 18 other neuropsychiatric disorders did not differ between Toxoplasma-infected and Toxoplasma-free subjects. The infected subjects, even the OCD-free subjects, scored higher on the OCI-R.


Examined subjects provided the information about their toxoplasmosis and OCD statuses themselves, which could result in underrating the strength of observed associations.


The results confirmed earlier reports of the association between toxoplasmosis and OCD. They also support recent claims that latent toxoplasmosis is in fact a serious disease with many impacts on quality of life of patients.


Infection; Learning disabilities; Mental disorder; Parasites; Risk factors; Toxoplasmosis

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