Toxoplasma Gondii Infection and Depression: A Case-Control Seroprevalence Study

Eur J Microbiol Immunol (Bp). 2016 Apr 25;6(2):85-9. doi: 10.1556/1886.2016.00010. eCollection 2016 Jun 24.


We assessed the association of Toxoplasma gondii infection and depression in a sample of psychiatric patients and control subjects without depression. We performed an age- and gender-matched case-control study of 89 patients suffering from depression attended in a public psychiatric hospital in Durango City, Mexico and 356 control subjects without depression from the general population of the same city. Participants were tested for the presence of anti-Toxoplasma IgG and IgM antibodies using enzyme-linked immunoassays. Anti-T. gondii IgG antibodies were found in 11 (12.4%) of the 89 cases and in 22 (6.2%) of the 356 controls (OR = 2.14; 95% CI: 1.00-4.59; P = 0.04). Anti-T. gondii IgM antibodies were found in four (19%) of 21 anti-T. gondii IgG seropositive controls but not in 11 anti-T. gondii IgG seropositive cases (P = 0.27). Patients aged 30 years old and younger had a significantly higher seroprevalence of T. gondii infection than controls of the same age group (P = 0.001). Results of the present study suggest a potential association between T. gondii infection and depression. Furthers studies to confirm our results and to determine the epidemiology of T. gondii in young depressed patients should be conducted.

Keywords: Toxoplasmagondii; case–control study; depression; psychiatric patients; seroprevalence.