Seroprevalence of Toxoplasma gondii infection among patients with non-schizophrenic neurodevelopmental disorders in Alexandria, Egypt

Acta TropicaVolume 154, February 2016, Pages 155–159

Amany I. Shehataa

Faika I. Hassaneinb

Rashad Abdul-Ghanicd

a Department of Tropical Health, High Institute of Public Health, Alexandria University, Alexandria, Egypt

b Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Faculty of Pharmacy and Drug Manufacturing, Pharos University, Alexandria, Egypt

c Department of Parasitology, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Sana'a University, Sana’a, Yemen

d Tropical Disease Research Center, University of Science and Technology, Sana’a, Yemen

Toxoplasma gondii is an opportunistic parasite with neurotropic characteristics that can mediate neurodevelopmental disorders, including mental, behavioral and personality aspects of their hosts. Therefore, the seroprevalence of anti-Toxoplasma antibodies has been studied in patients with different neurological disorders from different localities. On searching online databases, however, we could not find published studies on the seroprevalence of anti-Toxoplasma antibodies among patients with neurodevelopmental disorders in Egypt. Therefore, the present preliminary study was conducted to determine the serological profile of T. gondii infection among patients with non-schizophrenic neurodevelopmental disorders in Alexandria, Egypt. Data and blood samples were collected from 188 patients recruited for the study from four mental rehabilitation centers in the period from July 2014 to March 2015. The overall seropositivity rates of IgM and IgG among patients were 16.5% (31/188) and 50.0% (94/188), respectively. Of the studied patients’ characteristics, only age was significantly associated with anti-Toxoplasma IgG seropositivity, with older patients being about twice more likely exposed to infection. However, no statistically significant association was found with IgM. In addition, seropositivity of anti-Toxoplasma IgG, but not IgM, was significantly associated with non-schizophrenic neurodevelopmental disorders; however, neither IgG nor IgM showed a significant association with cognitive impairment as indicated by the intelligence quotient scores.