J Psychiatr Res. 2014 Sep 28. pii: S0022-3956(14)00286-6. doi: 10.1016/j.jpsychires.2014.09.019. [Epub ahead of print]
Cook TB1, Brenner LA2, Cloninger CR3, Langenberg P4, Igbide A5, Giegling I6, Hartmann AM6, Konte B6, Friedl M6, Brundin L7, Groer MW8, Can A9, Rujescu D6, Postolache TT10.
BACKGROUND:Latent chronic infection with Toxoplasma gondii (T. gondii), a common neurotropic pathogen, has been previously linked with suicidal self-directed violence (SSDV). We sought to determine if latent infection with T. gondii is associated with trait aggression and impulsivity, intermediate phenotypes for suicidal behavior, in psychiatrically healthy adults.
METHODS:Traits of aggression and impulsivity were analyzed in relationship to IgG antibody seropositivity for T. gondii and two other latent neurotropic infections, herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV1) and cytomegalovirus (CMV). One thousand community-residing adults residing in the Munich metropolitan area with no Axis I or II conditions by SCID for DSM-IV (510 men, 490 women, mean age 53.6 ± 15.8, range 20-74). Plasma samples were tested for IgG antibodies to T. gondii, HSV-1 and CMV by ELISA. Self-reported ratings of trait aggression scores (Questionnaire for Measuring Factors of Aggression [FAF]) and trait impulsivity (Sensation-Seeking Scale-V [SSS-V]) were analyzed using linear multivariate methods.
RESULTS:T. gondii IgG seropositivity was significantly associated with higher trait reactive aggression scores among women (p < .01), but not among men. T. gondii-positivity was also associated with higher impulsive sensation-seeking (SSS-V Disinhibition) among younger men (p < .01) aged 20-59 years old (median age = 60). All associations with HSV-1 and CMV were not significant.
CONCLUSIONS:Aggression and impulsivity, personality traits considered as endophenotypes for SSDV, are associated with latent T. gondii infection in a gender and age-specific manner, and could be further investigated as prognostic and treatment targets in T. gondii-positive individuals at risk for SSDV.
Published by Elsevier Ltd.
KEYWORDS:Aggression; Impulsivity; Personality; Toxoplasma gondii
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