Toxoplasma and coxiella infection and psychiatric morbidity: A retrospective cohort analysis

Thomas, Hollie V.; Thomas, Daniel Rh.; Salmon, Roland L.; Lewis, Glyn; Smith, Andy P.
January 2004
BMC Psychiatry;2004, Vol. 4, p32
Academic Journal
Background: It has been suggested that infection with Toxoplasma gondii is associated with slow reaction and poor concentration, whilst infection with Coxiella burnetii may lead to persistent symptoms of fatigue. Methods: 425 farmers completed the Revised Clinical Interview Schedule (CIS-R) by computer between March and July 1999 to assess psychiatric morbidity. Samples of venous blood had been previously collected and seroprevalence of T. gondii and C. burnetii was assessed. Results: 45% of the cohort were seropositive for T. gondii and 31% were positive for C. burnetii. Infection with either agent was not associated with symptoms reflecting clinically relevant levels of concentration difficulties, fatigue, depression, depressive ideas or overall psychiatric morbidity. Conclusions: We do not provide any evidence that infection with Toxoplasma gondii or Coxiella burnetii is associated with neuropsychiatric morbidity, in particular with symptoms of poor concentration or fatigue. However, this is a relatively healthy cohort with few individuals reporting neuropsychiatric morbidity and therefore the statistical power to test the study hypotheses is limited.


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