Institute for Microbiology and Hygiene

Berlin, Germany

Institute for Microbiology and Hygiene

Berlin, Germany

Time filter

Source Type

Alvarado-Esquivel C.,Mexico State University | Urbina-Alvarez J.D.,Mexican Social Security Institute | Estrada-Martinez S.,Mexico State University | Torres-Castorena A.,Mexican Social Security Institute | And 3 more authors.
Parasitology International | Year: 2011

There are conflicting reports concerning the association of Toxoplasma gondii infection and schizophrenia in humans. Therefore, we determined such association in a Mexican population of Mestizo ethnicity. Through a case-control study design, 50 schizophrenic patients and 150 control subjects matched by gender, age, residence place, and ethnicity were examined with enzyme-linked immunoassays for the presence and levels of T. gondii IgG antibodies and for the presence of T. gondii IgM antibodies. Schizophrenic patients attended a public psychiatric hospital in Durango City, Mexico, and the control group consisted of individuals of the general population of the same city. Socio-demographic, clinical and behavioral characteristics from the study subjects were also obtained. Both the seroprevalence and the level of T.gondii IgG antibodies were higher in schizophrenic patients (10/50; 20%) than in control subjects (8/150; 5.3%) (OR = 4.44; 95% CI: 1.49-13.37; P= 0.003). The IgG T. gondii levels higher than 150. IU/ml were more frequently observed in patients than in controls (10% versus 2%, respectively; P= 0.02). One (50%) of the two patients with recently diagnosed schizophrenia and none of the controls had T. gondii IgM antibodies (P= 0.01). T. gondii seropositivity was significantly higher in patients with a history of cleaning cat excrement (P= 0.005), and suffering from simple schizophrenia (ICD-10 classification: F20.6) (P= 0.03) than patients without these characteristics. Toxoplasma seroprevalence was also significantly higher in patients with simple schizophrenia (F20.6) than in those with paranoid schizophrenia (F20.0) (P= 0.02). This study provides elements to clarify the controversial information on the association of T. gondii infection and schizophrenia. © 2011.


Alvarado-Esquivel C.,Universidad Juárez del Estado de Durango | Campillo-Ruiz F.,Servicios de Salud de Durango | Liesenfeld O.,Institute for Microbiology and Hygiene | Liesenfeld O.,Hoffmann-La Roche
Parasites and Vectors | Year: 2013

Background: Migrant agricultural workers are a group of people living in poverty with poor housing, sanitary conditions and hygiene practices. Little is known about the epidemiology of infection with Toxoplasma gondii in migrant agricultural workers. Methods. We investigated the presence of anti-Toxoplasma IgG and IgM antibodies in 173 migrant workers hired for seasonal agricultural work in Durango State in northern Mexico using enzyme-linked immunoassays. Results: Of the 173 migrant workers (mean age 34.82 ± 14.01 years), 50 (28.9%) had anti-Toxoplasma IgG antibodies and 36 (20.8%) had anti-Toxoplasma IgM antibodies. Seroprevalence was not influenced by gender, age, birth place, or educational level. In contrast, seroprevalence was significantly higher in workers residing in rural areas than those in urban or suburban areas. Migrant workers suffering from memory impairment, dizziness, or syncope had significantly higher seroprevalence of anti-T. gondii IgG antibodies than those without such clinical features. Logistic regression analysis showed that T. gondii exposure was positively associated with consumption of unwashed raw vegetables (OR = 2.39; 95% CI: 1.06-5.35; P = 0.03) and low frequency of eating out of home (OR = 3.87; 95% CI: 1.43-10.42; P = 0.007), and negatively associated with national trips (OR = 0.30; 95% CI: 0.13-0.65; P = 0.003) and consumption of raw milk (OR = 0.40; 95% CI: 0.18-0.87; P = 0.02). Other behavioral characteristics including consumption of meat or untreated water were not associated with T. gondii infection. Conclusions: This is the first report of T. gondii infection in internal migrant agricultural workers living in poverty. Results deserve further investigation of causal relations between clinical symptoms and infection, and may be useful for optimal planning of preventive measures. © 2013 Alvarado-Esquivel et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.


Alvarado-Esquivel C.,Mexico State University | Torres-Castorena A.,Mexican Social Security Institute | Liesenfeld O.,Institute for Microbiology and Hygiene | Liesenfeld O.,Hoffmann-La Roche | And 2 more authors.
Parasites and Vectors | Year: 2012

Background: Toxoplasma gondii has been associated with reflex impairment and traffic accidents. It is unknown whether Toxoplasma infection might be associated with work accidents. Therefore, using a case-control seroprevalence study design, 133 patients with a recent work accident and 266 control subjects of the general population from the same region were examined with enzyme-linked immunoassays for the presence and levels of anti-Toxoplasma IgG antibodies and anti-Toxoplasma IgM antibodies. Socio-demographic, work, clinical and behavioral characteristics from each worker were obtained. Results: Eleven (8.3%) of 133 patients, and 14 (5.3%) of 266 controls had anti-T. gondii IgG antibodies. Anti-T. gondii IgG levels were higher than 150 IU/ml in 8 (6%) patients and 10 (3.8%) controls. Anti-T. gondii IgM antibodies were found in one (0.8%) of the workers, and in 6 (2.3%) of the controls. No statistically significant differences in the IgG seroprevalences, frequencies of high IgG levels, and IgM seroprevalences among patients and controls were found. In contrast, a low socio-economic level in patients with work accidents was associated with Toxoplasma seropositivity (P = 0.01). Patients with work accidents and low socioeconomic status showed a significantly (OR = 3.38; 95% CI: 0.84-16.06; P = 0.04) higher seroprevalence of T. gondii infection than controls of the same socioeconomic status (15.1% vs. 5%, respectively). Multivariate analysis showed a positive association of T. gondii infection with boar meat consumption (OR = 3.04; 95% CI: 1.03-8.94; P = 0.04). In contrast, a negative association between T. gondii infection and national trips (OR = 0.40; 95% CI: 0.17-0.96; P = 0.04), sausage consumption (OR = 0.20; 95% CI: 0.05-0.68; P = 0.01), and ham consumption (OR = 0.16; 95% CI: 0.05-0.51; P = 0.002) was found. Conclusions: In the study described here seropositivity to T. gondii was associated to work accidents in a subset of patients with low socioeconomic status. This is the first report of an association of T. gondii infection and work accidents. Further studies to confirm our results are needed. Results may help in designing optimal prevention strategies to avoid T. gondii infection. © 2012Alvarado-Esquivel et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.


Alvarado-Esquivel C.,Mexico State University | Liesenfeld O.,Institute for Microbiology and Hygiene | Liesenfeld O.,Hoffmann-La Roche | Estrada-Martinez S.,Mexico State University | Felix-Huerta J.,Servicios de Salud de Durango
Occupational Medicine | Year: 2011

Background: Raw meat may contain viable Toxoplasma gondii tissue cysts and therefore handling of raw meat may represent a risk for T. gondii infection. Aims: To determine the association of T. gondii infection with occupational exposure to raw meat.Methods Case-control seroprevalence study design with enzyme-linked immunoassays for the presence and levels of anti-Toxoplasma IgG antibodies and for the presence of anti-Toxoplasma IgM antibodies. Those occupationally exposed to raw meat consisted of butchers working in two abattoirs and 35 butcher's shops in Durango, Mexico. The control group consisted of individuals from the general population from the same region. Socio-demographic, work, clinical and behavioural characteristics from each butcher were obtained. Results: One hundred and twenty-four workers occupationally exposed to raw meat and 248 control subjects were examined. Eight (7%) of the butchers and 22 (9%) of the controls were positive for anti-T. gondii IgG antibodies [not statistically significant (NS)]. Anti-T. gondii IgG levels were >150 IU/ml in 7 (6%) butchers and 14 (6%) controls (NS). Anti-T. gondii IgM antibodies were found in five (4%) of the butchers and four (2%) of the controls (NS). None of the factors examined appeared to predict seropositivity although both butchers who reported consuming dried beef were seropositive compared to 6/122 controls (95% CI 0.60-1.29).Conclusions Occupational exposure to raw meat was not associated with seropositivity for T. gondii infection. Consumption of dried beef may warrant further investigation. © The Author 2011. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society of Occupational Medicine. All rights reserved.


Alvarado-Esquivel C.,Mexico State University | Torres-Berumen J.L.,Mexican Social Security Institute | Estrada-Martinez S.,Mexico State University | Liesenfeld O.,Institute for Microbiology and Hygiene | And 2 more authors.
Parasites and Vectors | Year: 2011

Background: Infection with the protozoan parasite Toxoplasma gondii may cause liver disease. However, the impact of the infection in patients suffering from liver disease is unknown. Therefore, through a case-control study design, 75 adult liver disease patients attending a public hospital in Durango City, Mexico, and 150 controls from the general population of the same region matched by gender, age, and residence were examined with enzyme-linked immunoassays for the presence of anti-Toxoplasma IgG and anti-Toxoplasma IgM antibodies. Socio-demographic, clinical and behavioral characteristics from the study subjects were obtained. Results: Seroprevalence of anti-Toxoplasma IgG antibodies and IgG titers did not differ significantly in patients (10/75; 13.3%) and controls (16/150; 10.7%). Two (2.7%) patients and 5 (3.3%) controls had anti-Toxoplasma IgM antibodies (P = 0.57). Seropositivity to Toxoplasma did not show any association with the diagnosis of liver disease. In contrast, seropositivity to Toxoplasma in patients was associated with consumption of venison and quail meat. Toxoplasma seropositivity was more frequent in patients with reflex impairment (27.8%) than in patients without this impairment (8.8%) (P = 0.05). Multivariate analysis showed that Toxoplasma seropositivity in patients was associated with consumption of sheep meat (OR = 8.69; 95% CI: 1.02-73.71; P = 0.04) and rabbit meat (OR = 4.61; 95% CI: 1.06-19.98; P = 0.04). Conclusions: Seropositivity to Toxoplasma was comparable among liver disease patients and controls. Further studies with larger sample sizes are needed to elucidate the association of Toxoplasma with liver disease. Consumption of venison, and rabbit, sheep, and quail meats may warrant further investigation. © 2011 Alvarado-Esquivel et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.


Feustel S.M.,Institute for Microbiology and Hygiene | Meissner M.,University of Glasgow | Liesenfeld O.,Institute for Microbiology and Hygiene | Liesenfeld O.,Hoffmann-La Roche
Virulence | Year: 2012

Infection with the protozoan parasite Toxoplasma gondii is characterized by asymptomatic latent infection in the central nervous system and skeletal muscle tissue in the majority of immunocompentent individuals. Life-threatening reactivation of the infection in immunocompromized patients originates from rupture of Toxoplasma cysts in the brain. While major progress has been made in our understanding of the immunopathogenesis of infection the mechanism(s) of neuroinvasion of the parasite remains poorly understood. The present review presents the current understanding of blood-brain barrier (patho)physiology and the interaction of Toxoplasma gondii with cells of the blood-brain barrier. © 2012 Landes Bioscience.


Alvarado-Esquivel C.,Mexico State University | Estrada-Martinez S.,Mexico State University | Liesenfeld O.,Institute for Microbiology and Hygiene | Liesenfeld O.,Hoffmann-La Roche
Parasites and Vectors | Year: 2011

Background: Through a case control seroprevalence study, we sought to determine the association of Toxoplasma gondii infection with occupational exposure to unwashed raw fruits and vegetables. Methods. Subjects, numbering 200, who worked growing or selling fruits and vegetables, and 400 control subjects matched by age, gender, and residence were examined by enzyme immunoassays for the presence of anti-Toxoplasma IgG and IgM antibodies. Socio-demographic, clinical, and behavioral characteristics from the study subjects were obtained. Results: Of the 200 fruit and vegetable workers, 15 (7.5%) of whom, and 31 (7.8%) of the 400 controls were positive for anti-Toxoplasma IgG antibodies (P = 0.96). Anti-Toxoplasma IgM antibodies were found in 2 (1%) of the fruit workers and in 11 (2.8%) of the control subjects (P = 0.23). Seroprevalence of Toxoplasma antibodies increased with age (P = 0.0004). In addition, seropositivity to Toxoplasma was associated with ill status (P = 0.04), chronic tonsillitis (P = 0.03), and reflex impairment (P = 0.03). Multivariate analysis showed that Toxoplasma infection was associated with consumption of raw meat (OR = 5.77; 95% CI: 1.15-28.79; P = 0.03), unwashed raw fruits (OR = 2.50; 95% CI: 1.11-5.63; P = 0.02), and living in a house with soil floors (OR = 3.10; 95% CI: 1.22-7.88; P = 0.01), whereas Toxoplasma infection was negatively associated with traveling abroad (OR = 0.28; 95% CI: 0.12-0.67; P = 0.005). Conclusions: This is the first report of seroprevalence and contributing factors for Toxoplasma infection in workers occupationally exposed to unwashed raw fruits and vegetables, and the results may help in the design of optimal preventive measures against Toxoplasma infection especially in female workers at reproductive age. © 2011 Alvarado-Esquivel et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.


Kiderlen T.R.,Institute for Microbiology and Hygiene | Liesenfeld O.,Institute for Microbiology and Hygiene | Schurmann D.,Charité - Medical University of Berlin | Schneider T.,Charité - Medical University of Berlin
European Journal of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases | Year: 2011

Toxoplasmic encephalitis (TE) continues to be a severe health problem despite the introduction of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART). To identify predictors for development of TE we compared demographic, clinical and diagnostic variables in AIDS patients with TE before (n∈=∈102) or after the introduction (n∈=∈70) of HAART at the Charité University Medicine in Berlin, Germany. Interestingly, patient characteristics did not differ significantly in the pre- and post-HAART groups. Sixty-eight percent of patients had CD4-cell counts of <50/μl. Outcome after treatment with pyrimethamin plus sulfonamides or clindamycin (47% each) did not differ; adverse reactions were more frequent in patients receiving sulfonamides than in those receiving clindamycin (25% vs. 10.5%; p∈=∈0.02). Interestingly, patients in the post HAART group had not received (82.9%) or had not taken HAART adequately (17.1%). Concurrent diagnosis of TE and HIV was significantly more often in the post- compared to the pre-HAART group (49 vs. 26%, respectively; p∈>∈0.001). Thus, despite the introduction of HAART, awareness of opportunistic infections in HIV patients is warranted. High rates of unawareness of HIV infection should make public health efforts focus on early identification of HIV infection and initiation of and compliance with HAART. © 2011 Springer-Verlag.


Alvarado-Esquivel C.,Mexico State University | Estrada-Martinez S.,Mexico State University | Pizarro-Villalobos H.,Mexico State University | Arce-Quinones M.,Mexico State University | And 4 more authors.
Journal of Parasitology | Year: 2011

There is a lack of information about the seroepidemiology of T. gondii infection in the general population of Durango City, Mexico. Anti-Toxoplasma gondii IgG and IgM antibodies were sought in 974 inhabitants in Durango City, Mexico with the use of enzyme-linked immunoassays. in total, 59 (6.1%) of 974 participants (mean age 37 ± 16.1 yr) had IgG anti-T. gondii antibodies. Twenty (2.1%) of them also had IgM anti-T. gondii antibodies. IgG levels of 13-99, 100-150, and >150 International Units (IU)/ml were found in 14 (23.7%), 3 (5.1%), and 42 (71.2%) anti-T. gondii IgG-positive participants, respectively. Prevalence of infection increased with age (P < 0.05), and was significantly lower in participants born in Durango State than those born in other Mexican states (P < 0.01). Toxoplasma gondii infection was significantly associated with consumption of boar meat (adjusted odds ratio [OR] = 3.02; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.49-6.13), and squirrel meat (adjusted OR = 2.18; 95% CI: 1.17-4.09). in addition, infection was negatively associated with travel abroad (adjusted OR = 0.42; 95% CI: 0.23-0.77), and salami consumption (adjusted OR = 0.57; 95% CI: 0.32-0.99). This is the first report of seroprevalence and contributing factors for T. gondii infection in general population in Durango City, and of an association of the consumption of boar meat with T. gondii infection. This study provides a basis for the design of successful preventive measures against T. gondii infection. © American Society of Parasitologists.


Alvarado-Esquivel C.,Mexico State University | Estrada-Martinez S.,Mexico State University | Garcia-Lopez C.R.,Servicios de Salud de Durango | Rojas-Rivera A.,Servicios de Salud de Durango | And 2 more authors.
Vector-Borne and Zoonotic Diseases | Year: 2012

The epidemiology of Toxoplasma gondii infection is known to depend on a number of behavioral factors, including contact with animals and eating habits. The epidemiology in specific populations (i.e., in indigenous ethnic groups) is not well studied. We therefore investigated the presence of anti-Toxoplasma IgG and IgM antibodies in 156 Tepehuanos, an indigenous ethnic group in Durango State in northern Mexico, using ELISAs. Of the 156 Tepehuanos (mean age 31.03±16.71 years), 35 (22.4%) had anti-Toxoplasma IgG antibodies. IgG levels of 14-99, 100-150, and >150 IU/mL were found in 15 (42.9%), 1 (2.8%), and 19 (54.3%) anti-Toxoplasma IgG-positive Tepehuanos, respectively. Also, 15 (9.6%) subjects had anti-Toxoplasma IgM antibodies. Male Tepehuanos aged 31-50 years showed a significantly higher frequency of exposure to T. gondii than female Tepehuanos of the same age. Seroprevalence of anti-T. gondii IgM antibodies was significantly higher in Tepehuanos without education than those with 7-12 years of education. Tepehuanos suffering from frequent headaches had significantly higher seroprevalences of anti-T. gondii IgG and IgM antibodies than those without this clinical feature. In addition, Tepehuanos suffering from hearing impairment had significantly higher seroprevalence of anti-T. gondii IgM antibodies than those without this clinical feature. Logistic regression analysis did not show an association of T. gondii exposure with any behavioral characteristics, including contact with cats or eating habits. The seroprevalence of T. gondii exposure in Tepehuanos is comparable to that reported in other populations in North America; however, seroprevalence in the largely rural Tepehuanos is higher than that reported in a nearby urban center. Toxoplasma may be impacting the health of Tepehuanos. This is the first report of T. gondii infection in Tepehuanos, and the results should prove useful for the design of preventive measures. © 2012, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.

Loading Institute for Microbiology and Hygiene collaborators
Loading Institute for Microbiology and Hygiene collaborators