Positive association between Toxoplasma gondii IgG serointensity and current dysphoria/hopelessness scores in the Old Order Amish: A preliminary study

Abhishek Wadhawan, Aline Dagdag, Allyson Duffy, Melanie L. Daue, Kathy A. Ryan, Lisa A. Brenner, John W. Stiller, Toni I. Pollin, Maureen W. Groer, Xuemei Huang, Christopher A. Lowry, Braxton D. Mitchell, Teodor T. Postolache

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

Toxoplasma gondii (T. gondii) IgG seropositivity and serointensity have been previously associated with suicidal self-directed violence (SSDV). Although associations with unipolar depression have also been investigated, the results have been inconsistent, possibly as a consequence of high heterogeneity. We have now studied this association in a more homogeneous population, [that is (i.e.) Old Order Amish (OOA)] with previously reported high T. gondii seroprevalence. In 306 OOA with a mean age of 46.1±16.7 years, including 191 (62.4%) women in the Amish Wellness Study, we obtained both T. gondii IgG titers (by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay [ELISA]), depression screening questionnaires (Patient Health Questionnaire [PHQ-9] [n=280] and PHQ-2 [n=26]). Associations between T. gondii IgG and dysphoria/hopelessness and anhedonia scores on depression screening questionnaires were analyzed using multivariable linear methods with adjustment for age and sex. Serointensity was associated with both current dysphoria/hopelessness (p=0.045) and current combined anhedonia and dysphoria/hopelessness (p=0.043), while associations with simple anhedonia and past/lifelong (rather than current) phenotypes were not significant. These results indicate the need for larger longitudinal studies to corroborate the association between dysphoria/hopelessness and T. gondii IgG-titers. Current hopelessness is a known risk factor for SSDV which responds particularly well to cognitive behavioral therapy, may be a focused treatment target for T. gondii-positive individuals at high-risk for SSDV.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)185-194
Number of pages10
JournalPteridines
Volume28
Issue number3-4
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 20 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Clinical Biochemistry

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    Wadhawan, A., Dagdag, A., Duffy, A., Daue, M. L., Ryan, K. A., Brenner, L. A., Stiller, J. W., Pollin, T. I., Groer, M. W., Huang, X., Lowry, C. A., Mitchell, B. D., & Postolache, T. T. (2017). Positive association between Toxoplasma gondii IgG serointensity and current dysphoria/hopelessness scores in the Old Order Amish: A preliminary study. Pteridines, 28(3-4), 185-194. https://doi.org/10.1515/pterid-2017-0019