Saturday, October 22, 2016

Is chronic toxoplasmosis a risk factor for diabetes mellitus? A systematic review and meta-analysis of case-control studies

 2016 Oct 18. pii: S1413-8670(16)30334-8. doi: 10.1016/j.bjid.2016.09.002. [Epub ahead of print]



The global protozoan parasite, Toxoplasma gondii, infects many warm-blooded animals and humans by employing different transmission routes. There have been some recent studies on the probable relevance of infectious agents and diabetes. Therefore, we conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis to identify the possible association between chronic toxoplasmosis and diabetes mellitus.


This study was conducted following the general methodology recommended for systematic reviews and meta-analysis. Nine English literature databases (Google scholar, PubMed, Scopus, Web of science, Science Direct, Ovid, ProQuest, IngentaConnect, and Wiley Online Library) were searched, up to January 2016. Random effects model was used to determine odds ratios and their 95% confidence intervals.


Our review resulted in a total of seven publications meeting the inclusion criteria. Because of significant heterogeneity, we estimated a common OR by a random effects model at 1.10 (95% CI=0.13-9.57) with p=0.929 and 2.39 (95% CI=1.20-4.75) with p=0.013 for type 1 and type 2 diabetes mellitus, respectively.


Despite the limitations such as low number of studies, this meta-analysis suggests chronic toxoplasmosis as a possible risk factor for type 2 DM. However, based on random effects model no statistically significant association was observed between T. gondii and type 1 DM. It is highly recommended for researchers to carry out more accurate studies aiming to better understand this association.


Diabetes mellitus; Meta-analysis; Systematic review; Toxoplasma gondii

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