Toxoplasma gondii antibody titers and history of suicide attempts in patients with schizophrenia

Schizophr Res. 2011 Dec;133(1-3):150-5. doi: 10.1016/j.schres.2011.08.006. Epub 2011 Sep 3.


Toxoplasma gondii (T. gondii) a widespread neurotropic parasite, has been previously associated with schizophrenia and more recently with suicidal behavior. However, no previous study has examined the association of T. gondii with suicidal behavior in schizophrenia patients. 950 individuals diagnosed with schizophrenia by SCID were recruited from the Munich area of Germany. Solid-enzyme immunoassay methods were used to measure IgG plasma antibodies to T. gondii, other neurotropic pathogens and gliadin. Logistic regression models were developed to analyze the association of T. gondii seropositivity or serointensity with history of suicidal behavior. In those younger than the median age of the sample, 38, T. gondii serointensity was associated with history of suicidal behavior (p = 0.02), while in the older patients the relationship was not significant (p = 0.21). Seropositivity was also associated with history of suicide attempt in younger patients, odds ratio 1.59 (95% CI 1.06 to 2.40), p = 0.03. Seropositivity for CMV (p = 0.22), HSV-1 (p = 0.36) and gliadin (p = 0.92) was not related to history of suicide attempt in the entire sample or any age subgroup. T. gondii serology might become, with interaction with vulnerability genes, a candidate biomarker for a subgroup of schizophrenia patients prone to attempting suicide.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antibodies, Protozoan / blood*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Schizophrenia / immunology
  • Schizophrenia / parasitology*
  • Schizophrenic Psychology
  • Suicide, Attempted*
  • Toxoplasma / immunology*
  • Toxoplasmosis / psychology*


  • Antibodies, Protozoan