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Trop Med Int Health. 2017 Oct;22(10):1322-1327. doi: 10.1111/tmi.12933. Epub 2017 Aug 11.

Association of Toxoplasma gondii infection with schizophrenia and its relationship with suicide attempts in these patients.

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Department of Food Hygiene and Public Heath, School of Veterinary Medicine, Shiraz University, Shiraz, Iran.
Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran.



To investigate the association between schizophrenia and Toxoplasma gondii, and to assess the association of infection with suicide attempts and age of onset of schizophrenia in these patients.


Case-control study Fars Province, southern Iran. Cases were individuals with psychiatric diagnosis of schizophrenia as per Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV) criteria. Controls were healthy blood donors, frequency-matched with patients according to age and sex. For the detection of IgG antibodies, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) was used. Data about demographic information in all subjects and duration of illness and history of suicide attempts in patients with schizophrenia were collected using a brief questionnaire and hospital records. Chi-square test and multivariable logistic regression were used for statistical analyses.


Among 99 cases, 42 individuals (42%) were positive for T. gondii antibody, vs. 41 (27%) among 152 controls (OR = 2, 95% CI: 1.2-3.4, P = 0.012). We compared the suicide attempts in patients with schizophrenia based on their T. gondii serologic status. There was a lower rate of suicide attempts in seropositive male patients than seronegative ones (OR = 0.3, 95% CI: 0.1-0.97, P = 0.04). Age of onset of schizophrenia did not differ between T. gondii-infected and non-infected patients.


These findings may have implications for schizophrenia and suicide prevention programmes. However, clearly further studies are required to confirm them.


Toxoplasma gondii ; Iran; Irán; Schizophrenia; Suicide; esquizofrenia; schizophrénie; suicide; suicidio

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