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Int J Epidemiol. 1993 Jun;22(3):412-9.

Tumours of the brain and presence of antibodies to Toxoplasma gondii.

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Department of Community Medicine, University of Adelaide, Australia.


The possible association between prior infection with the protozoan Toxoplasma gondii and development of brain tumours was investigated as part of two Australian population-based case-control studies of adult brain tumours. One study, based in Adelaide, South Australia, collected blood from 73 subjects with glioma, 53 subjects with meningioma and 348 controls. The other study, based in Melbourne, Victoria, collected blood from 44 subjects with glioma and 67 controls. All tumours had been verified histologically. IgG antibodies to T. gondii were measured using Enzyme Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA) techniques. In both the centre-specific and combined analyses, there was no difference between subjects with glioma and controls in the prevalence of antibody test-positivity (35% test-positive in glioma versus 33% in controls, age-, sex- and centre-adjusted odds ratio (OR) = 1.00, 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.64-1.56). In the Adelaide study, there was a statistically significant increased risk of meningioma associated with antibody test-positivity (47% test-positive in meningioma versus 31% in controls, P = 0.02, adjusted OR = 2.09, 95% CI: 1.14-3.83). Our results do not support the hypothesis that antibody positivity to T. gondii is a risk factor for glioma, but suggest that it might be associated with meningioma.

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