Sex-dependent toxoplasmosis-associated differences in testosterone concentration in humans

Parasitology. 2008 Apr;135(4):427-31. doi: 10.1017/S0031182007004064. Epub 2008 Jan 21.

Abstract

Several lines of indirect evidence suggest that subjects with latent infection of the coccidian parasite Toxoplasma gondii have a higher concentration of testosterone than uninfected controls. Here, we searched for direct evidence of latent toxoplasmosis-associated differences in testosterone concentration among a population of 174 female and 91 male students screened for Toxoplasma infection. We have found Toxoplasma-infected men to have a higher concentration of testosterone and Toxoplasma-infected women to have a lower concentration of testosterone than Toxoplasma-free controls. The opposite direction of the testosterone shift in men compared to women can explain the observed gender specificity of behavioural shifts in Toxoplasma-infected subjects.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Protozoan / blood
  • Complement Fixation Tests
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Saliva / parasitology
  • Sex Factors
  • Testosterone / blood*
  • Toxoplasma / isolation & purification*
  • Toxoplasmosis / blood*
  • Toxoplasmosis / parasitology

Substances

  • Antibodies, Protozoan
  • Testosterone