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01.12.2019 | Research article | Ausgabe 1/2019 Open Access

BMC Infectious Diseases 1/2019

Association between Toxoplasma gondii infection and thyroid dysfunction: a case-control seroprevalence study

BMC Infectious Diseases > Ausgabe 1/2019
Cosme Alvarado-Esquivel, Agar Ramos-Nevarez, Carlos Alberto Guido-Arreola, Sandra Margarita Cerrillo-Soto, Alma Rosa Pérez-Álamos, Sergio Estrada-Martínez, Verónica Dayali Gutierrez-Martinez, Antonio Sifuentes-Alvarez, Eda Guadalupe Ramírez-Valles, Edith Contreras-Cisneros
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Supplementary information

Supplementary information accompanies this paper at https://​doi.​org/​10.​1186/​s12879-019-4450-0.

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The association between Toxoplasma gondii infection and thyroid disease has been poorly studied. Therefore, we sought to determine the association between T. gondii seropositivity and thyroid dysfunction.


We performed an age- and gender-matched case-control study of 176 patients suffering from hypothyroidism (n = 161) or hyperthyroidism (n = 15) and 528 control subjects without these diseases in a public hospital in Durango City, Mexico. Anti-Toxoplasma IgG antibodies were determined in sera from cases and controls using a commercially available enzyme-linked immunoassay.


Anti-T. gondii IgG antibodies were found in 11 (6.3%) of 176 patients suffering from thyroid dysfunction and in 48 (9.1%) of 528 control subjects (OR = 0.66; 95% CI: 0.33–1.31; P = 0.23). Stratification by two groups of age (50 years and younger, and 51 year and older) showed that the youngest group of patients with thyroid dysfunction had a significantly lower seroprevalence of T. gondii infection than its age- and gender-matched control group (1/83: 1.2% vs 23/257: 8.6%; OR = 0.12; 95% CI: 0.01–0.93; P = 0.01). This stratification also showed that the youngest group of patients with hypothyroidism had a significantly lower seroprevalence of T. gondii infection than its age- and gender matched control group (0/75: 0% vs 21/233: 9.0%; P = 0.003).


Our results suggest that thyroid dysfunction is not associated with seropositivity to T. gondii in general; however, in young (50 years or less) patients, a negative association between infection and thyroid dysfunction and hypothyroidism was found. Further research to confirm this negative association is needed.
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