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Detection of Anti Toxoplasma antibodies in children with autism in Shebin Al-Kom district Menoufia Governorate, Egypt

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Marwa A. Gouda*, Dalia Shafey
Clinical and Molecular Parasitology Department, National Liver Institute (NLI), Menoufia University,
Shebin Al Koom, Menoufia, Egypt


Background; Autism spectrum disorders (ASD), are a range of mental disorders of neurodevelopmental type. More than three billion human hosts are estimated to be affected by the protozoan parasite Toxoplasma gondii, which is intracellular pathogen with a particular preference for the central nervous system (CNS). Accumulating evidence suggests that latent chronic toxoplasmosis contributes to triggering and progression of many neurological and psychiatric disorders, however the link and prevalence in ASD is not clear. Objective; The present study aimed to detect the relationship between Toxoplasma gondii infection in children suffering from autism disorder. Method: A case-controlled study was conducted on 80 children (40 cases and 40 controls), aged from 4-10 years. They were tested for the presence of anti-T. gondii. antibodies by ELISA. Analysis of data was performed using the Chi-square test and Fisher’s exact test. Results; No significant differences were detected between healthy (5.0%) and diseased children regarding presence of anti-toxoplasmosis antibodies (17.5%). However a significant difference was observed between boys and girls concerning age and seroprevalence of toxoplasmosis, the percent of autistic boys with toxoplasmosis was 9.1%, while the infection was represented in 57.1% of girls with autism. History of acquiring infection with toxoplasmosis during pregnancy was positive in 27.5% of diseased children compared to control children where the percent was 12.5%, with no statistically significant result. Considering residence, there were no significant differences in the seroprevalence of T. gondii IgG among urban and rural regions (P-value =1.0). Conclusion: From our study, we concluded that despite the absence of significant difference between healthy and diseased children in regard to toxoplasmosis, autistic children were highly risky for catching toxoplasmosis infection which need more research in this era.


About EJMM

The Egyptian Journal of Medical Microbiology EJMM  ISSN Print 1110-2179 - ISSN Online: 1110-2179, The official publication of Egyptian Society of Medical Microbiology

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