Advertisement

Antibodies to Infectious Agents in Individuals at Ultra-High Risk for Psychosis

  • G. Paul Amminger
    Correspondence
    Address reprint requests to Dr. G. Paul Amminger, Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Medical University of Vienna, Waehringer Guertel 18-20, A-1090 Vienna, Austria
    Affiliations
    ORYGEN Research Centre (incorporating the Personal Assistance and Crises Evaluation [PACE] Clinic), Department of Psychiatry, University of Melbourne, Australia

    Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Medical University of Vienna, Austria
    Search for articles by this author
  • Patrick D. McGorry
    Affiliations
    ORYGEN Research Centre (incorporating the Personal Assistance and Crises Evaluation [PACE] Clinic), Department of Psychiatry, University of Melbourne, Australia
    Search for articles by this author
  • Gregor E. Berger
    Affiliations
    ORYGEN Research Centre (incorporating the Personal Assistance and Crises Evaluation [PACE] Clinic), Department of Psychiatry, University of Melbourne, Australia
    Search for articles by this author
  • Darryl Wade
    Affiliations
    ORYGEN Research Centre (incorporating the Personal Assistance and Crises Evaluation [PACE] Clinic), Department of Psychiatry, University of Melbourne, Australia
    Search for articles by this author
  • Alison R. Yung
    Affiliations
    ORYGEN Research Centre (incorporating the Personal Assistance and Crises Evaluation [PACE] Clinic), Department of Psychiatry, University of Melbourne, Australia
    Search for articles by this author
  • Lisa J. Phillips
    Affiliations
    ORYGEN Research Centre (incorporating the Personal Assistance and Crises Evaluation [PACE] Clinic), Department of Psychiatry, University of Melbourne, Australia
    Search for articles by this author
  • Susy M. Harrigan
    Affiliations
    ORYGEN Research Centre (incorporating the Personal Assistance and Crises Evaluation [PACE] Clinic), Department of Psychiatry, University of Melbourne, Australia
    Search for articles by this author
  • Shona M. Francey
    Affiliations
    ORYGEN Research Centre (incorporating the Personal Assistance and Crises Evaluation [PACE] Clinic), Department of Psychiatry, University of Melbourne, Australia
    Search for articles by this author
  • Robert H. Yolken
    Affiliations
    John Hopkins University School of Medicine, Stanley Division of Developmental Neurovirology, Baltimore, Maryland.
    Search for articles by this author

      Background

      While there is evidence that some cases of schizophrenia may be associated with microbial infections, the role of microbial agents has not been investigated in people with emerging psychosis.

      Methods

      Participants were 105 help seeking ultra-high risk individuals. Psychiatric measures included the Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale and the Scale for the Assessment of Negative Symptoms. Serum IgG antibodies against human herpesviruses and Toxoplasma gondii were determined using immunoassay methods. Multiple linear regression with adjustment for age and sex was applied to test associations between serum antibodies and psychiatric measures.

      Results

      Higher levels of serum IgG antibodies against Toxoplasma gondii in Toxoplasma-positive individuals were significantly associated with more severe positive psychotic symptoms. No significant association was observed between antibody levels and psychiatric measures in individuals positive for human herpesviruses.

      Conclusions

      In some individuals infection with Toxoplasma gondii may be an environmental factor contributing to the manifestation of positive psychotic symptoms.

      Key Words

      To read this article in full you will need to make a payment

      Purchase one-time access:

      Academic & Personal: 24 hour online accessCorporate R&D Professionals: 24 hour online access
      One-time access price info
      • For academic or personal research use, select 'Academic and Personal'
      • For corporate R&D use, select 'Corporate R&D Professionals'

      Subscribe:

      Subscribe to Biological Psychiatry
      Already a print subscriber? Claim online access
      Already an online subscriber? Sign in
      Institutional Access: Sign in to ScienceDirect

      References

        • Andreasen N.C.
        Negative symptoms in schizophrenia.
        Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1982; 39: 784-788
        • Brown A.S.
        • Begg M.D.
        • Gravenstein S.
        • Schaefer C.A.
        • Wyatt R.J.
        • Bresnahan M.
        • et al.
        Serologic evidence of prenatal influenza in the etiology of schizophrenia.
        Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2004; 61: 774-780
        • Brown A.S.
        • Cohen P.
        • Harkavy-Friedman J.
        • Babulas V.
        • Malaspina D.
        • Gorman J.M.
        • et al.
        A.E. Bennett Research Award.
        Biol Psychiatry. 2001; 49: 473-486
        • Brown A.S.
        • Schaefer C.A.
        • Quesenberry Jr, C.P.
        • Liu L.
        • Babulas V.P.
        • Susser E.S.
        Maternal exposure to toxoplasmosis and risk of schizophrenia in adult offspring.
        Am J Psychiatry. 2005; 162: 767-773
        • Buka S.L.
        • Tsuang M.T.
        • Torrey E.F.
        • Klebanoff M.A.
        • Bernstein D.
        • Yolken R.H.
        Maternal infections and subsequent psychosis among offspring.
        Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2001; 58: 1032-1037
        • Cubitt W.D.
        • Ades A.E.
        • Peckham C.S.
        Evaluation of five commercial assays for screening antenatal sera for antibodies to Toxoplasma gondii.
        J Clin Pathol. 1992; 45: 435-438
        • Flegr J.
        • Preiss M.
        • Klose J.
        • Havlicek J.
        • Vitakova M.
        • Kodym P.
        Decreased level of psychobiological factor novelty seeking and lower intelligence in men latently infected with the protozoan parasite Toxoplasma gondii Dopamine, a missing link between schizophrenia and toxoplasmosis?.
        Biol Psychol. 2003; 63: 253-268
        • Kramer W.
        Frontiers of neurological diagnosis in acquired toxoplasmosis.
        Psychiatr Neurol Neurochir. 1966; 69: 43-64
        • Leweke F.M.
        • Gerth C.W.
        • Koethe D.
        • Klosterkotter J.
        • Ruslanova I.
        • Krivogorsky B.
        • et al.
        Antibodies to infectious agents in individuals with recent onset schizophrenia.
        Eur Arch Psychiatry Clin Neurosci. 2004; 254: 4-8
        • McGorry P.D.
        • Yung A.R.
        • Phillips L.J.
        • Yuen H.P.
        • Francey S.
        • Cosgrave E.M.
        • et al.
        Randomized controlled trial of interventions designed to reduce the risk of progression to first-episode psychosis in a clinical sample with subthreshold symptoms.
        Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2002; 59: 921-928
        • Overall J.E.
        • Gorham D.R.
        The brief psychiatric rating scale.
        Psychol Rep. 1962; 10: 799-812
        • Rigsby P.
        • Rijpkema S.
        • Guy E.C.
        • Francis J.
        • Das R.G.
        Evaluation of a candidate international standard for human anti-Toxoplasma immunoglobulin G.
        J Clin Microbiol. 2004; 42: 5133-5138
        • Sauerbrei A.
        • Wutzler P.
        Serological detection of type-specific IgG to herpes simplex virus by novel ELISAs based on recombinant and highly purified glycoprotein G.
        Clin Lab. 2004; 50: 425-429
        • Sever J.L.
        • Ellenberg J.H.
        • Ley A.C.
        • Madden D.L.
        • Fuccillo D.A.
        • Tzan N.R.
        • et al.
        Toxoplasmosis: maternal and pediatric findings in 23,000 pregnancies.
        Pediatrics. 1988; 82: 181-192
        • Stibbs H.H.
        Changes in brain concentrations of catecholamines and indoleamines in Toxoplasma gondii infected mice.
        Ann Trop Med Parasitol. 1985; 79: 153-157
        • Torrey E.F.
        • Yolken R.H.
        Could schizophrenia be a viral zoonosis transmitted from house cats?.
        Schizophr Bull. 1995; 21: 167-171
        • Torrey E.F.
        • Yolken R.H.
        Toxoplasma gondii and schizophrenia.
        Emerg Infect Dis. 2003; 9: 1375-1380
        • Walzer P.D.
        • Genta R.M.
        Toxoplasma gondii.
        Parasitic infection in the compromised host. New York, Marcel Dekker, Inc1989
        • Yolken R.
        Viruses and schizophrenia: a focus on herpes simplex virus.
        Herpes Suppl. 2004; 11: 83A-88A
        • Yolken R.H.
        • Bachmann S.
        • Ruslanova I.
        • Lillehoj E.
        • Ford G.
        • Torrey E.F.
        • et al.
        Antibodies to Toxoplasma gondii in individuals with first-episode schizophrenia.
        Clin Infect Dis. 2001; 32: 842-844
        • Yung A.R.
        • Phillips L.J.
        • McGorry P.D.
        • McFarlane C.A.
        • Francey S.
        • Harrigan S.
        • et al.
        Prediction of psychosis.
        Br J Psychiatry Suppl. 1998; 172: 14-20