MSPTM 2019 Annual Scientific Conference
13 - 14 March 2019
InterContinental Kuala Lumpur


Seroepidemiological study of Toxoplasma gondii infection among patients with schizophrenia spectrum disorders in Kuala Lumpur
E-Poster Presentation Competition for Student
Scaling Up Efforts in Tropical Disease and Vector Control through Evidence-Based Research
Medical Microbiology & Parasitology


Main Author
Emelia Osman1
Presenting Author
Anis Safirah Mohammad Zahariluddin1
Anis Safirah Mohammad Zahariluddin1
Zulkarnain Md Idris1
Shalisah Sharip2

Authors' Institution

Department / Institution / Country
Department of Parasitology & Medical Entomology, Faculty of Medicine / Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia / Malaysia1
Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine / Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia / Malaysia2
Abstract Content

Recently, a possible role of Toxoplasma gondii  in the etiopathogenesis of schizophrenia has been increasingly highlighted. In chronic stage, the parasite encysted in multiple organs including the brain which may alter neurological functioning. However, there is limited information about the seroepidemiology of T. gondii infection in psychiatric patients in Malaysia. This study aimed to determine a possible association between T. gondii exposure and schizophrenia spectrum disorders. This case-control study was performed among patients (18 to 65 years) with schizophrenia spectrum disorders which undergoing treatments in Hospital Canselor Tuanku Muhriz UKM, Kuala Lumpur. A total of 115 patients and 115 healthy subjects were screened for IgG and IgM antibodies against T. gondii by indirect ELISA method. Socio-demographic data of patients were obtained and analysed using descriptive statistics. In overall, the seroprevalence of IgG antibodies to T. gondii in patients with schizophrenia spectrum disorders  (23.5% [95%CI 32.3-16.1]) was similar to control subjects (30.4% [95%CI 39.7-22.2]) (P=0.298). Whereas, anti-T. gondii IgM antibodies were negative in all samples. No significant difference was observed for gender, age group and race between case and control groups. Similarly, within case group, statistical analysis did not reveal any significant difference between demographic variables (i.e. gender, age group, race, education level, marital status, suicidal thought, smoking, alcohol intake and drug abuse) and T. gondii exposure (all P>0.05). Nonetheless, employed individuals have significantly higher exposure to T. gondii compared to student and unemployed (P<0.001). Multivariate regression analysis revealed no association between seropositivity rate and all the variables. The similar seroprevalence of T. gondii in controls and patients may be due to the fact that the enrolled patients were clinically stable, comprising a relatively homogenous samples. Furthermore, a larger patients’ cohort perhaps able to demonstrate a thorough association between T. gondii infection and psychiatric illness.

Keywords: Toxoplasma gondii; schizophrenia; seroprevalence; epidemiology; ELISA
Requires Audio or Video system for Presentation?: Yes