An investigation into the association between latent toxoplasmosis and suicide attempts among adolescents

J Infect Dev Ctries. 2020 Dec 31;14(12):1437-1442. doi: 10.3855/jidc.13632.

Abstract

Introduction: There have been several studies investigating the association between Toxoplasma gondii seropositivity and psychiatric disorders although there is insufficient data on causality. Suicide, depression, and anxiety disorders have been especially investigated in this regard. In this study, we aimed to investigate whether there is any causal association between Toxoplasma gondii seropositivity and suicide attempts in adolescents.

Methodology: This is a case-control study conducted between January and December 2019. A total of 27 adolescents who had attempted suicide and were aged between 12 and 18 years were included in the study. 26 age and sex ratio matched healthy volunteers were taken as the control group. A possible association between suicide attempts and Toxoplasma gondii serology (IgM and IgG) was investigated..

Results: The suicide attempt group consisted of 17 females and 10 males. The mean age was 15.9 ± 1.4 (13.5-17.9) years. Toxoplasma gondii IgG seropositivity was 3.7% (1/27) in the suicide attempt group and 3.8% (1/26) in the control group. There was no significant association between the suicide attempt group and the control group in terms of the presence of Toxoplasma gondii IgG antibodies (p > 0.05).

Conclusion: Our study is one of the few studies examining the association between Toxoplasma gondii seropositivity and suicide attempts in adolescents yet we did not find any significant association. Further evidence is needed to clarify this controversial issue.

Keywords: Turkey; adolescent; infection; psychiatry; suicide; toxoplasmosis.