Abstract Title:

Toxoplasma-infected subjects report an Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder diagnosis more often and score higher in Obsessive-Compulsive Inventory.

Abstract Source:

Eur Psychiatry. 2016 Dec 16 ;40:82-87. Epub 2016 Dec 16. PMID: 27992837

Abstract Author(s):

J Flegr, J Horáček

Article Affiliation:

J Flegr


BACKGROUND: Latent toxoplasmosis, the life-long presence of dormant stages of Toxoplasma in immunoprivileged organs and of anamnestic IgG antibodies in blood, affects about 30% of humans. Infected subjects have an increased incidence of various disorders, including schizophrenia. Several studies, as well as the character of toxoplasmosis-associated disturbance of neurotransmitters, suggest that toxoplasmosis could also play an etiological role in Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD).

METHODS: The aim of the present cross-sectional study performed on a population of 7471 volunteers was to confirm the association between toxoplasmosis and OCD, and toxoplasmosis and psychological symptoms of OCD estimated by the standard Obsessive-Compulsive Inventory-Revised (OCI-R).

RESULTS: Incidence of OCD was 2.18% (n=39) in men and 2.28% (n=83) in women. Subjects with toxoplasmosis had about a 2.5 times higher odds of OCD and about a 2.7 times higher odds of learning disabilities. The incidence of 18 other neuropsychiatric disorders did not differ between Toxoplasma-infected and Toxoplasma-free subjects. The infected subjects, even the OCD-free subjects, scored higher on the OCI-R.

LIMITATIONS: Examined subjects provided the information about their toxoplasmosis and OCD statuses themselves, which could result in underrating the strength of observed associations.

CONCLUSIONS: The results confirmed earlier reports of the association between toxoplasmosis and OCD. They also support recent claims that latent toxoplasmosis is in fact a serious disease with many impacts on quality of life of patients.

Study Type : Human Study

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