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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2020  |  Volume : 33  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 157-161

Probable relationship between Toxoplasma gondii and children with cryptogenic epilepsy


1 Department of Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, Menoufia University, Menoufia, Egypt
2 Department of Clinical Pathology, Faculty of Medicine, Menoufia University, Menoufia, Egypt

Correspondence Address:
Sally S. M El-Dabaa
Shebeen El-Kom, Menoufia
Egypt
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/mmj.mmj_263_18

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Objective The aim was to determine the association between Toxoplasma gondii infection and cryptogenic epilepsy. Background Cryptogenic epilepsy is defined as a group of epilepsy syndromes for which etiology is unknown, but an underlying brain disease is suspected. We selected patients in this subgroup of epilepsy and investigated the seropositivity rate for antitoxoplasma immunoglobin (Ig)G antibodies by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. T. gondii is found in up to 20% of the US population, forming dormant brain cysts in the latent bradyzoite form. We investigated the probable relationship between T. gondii infection and cryptogenic epilepsy. Materials and methods This was a case–control prospective study conducted on 70 children in the time period between 1/2017 and 4/2018 from those attending the outpatient clinic of pediatric neurology at Menoufia University Hospital and Shebein El-Kom teaching hospital. We selected 30 patients with cryptogenic epilepsy, 20 patients with known-cause epilepsy, and 20 healthy children sex-matched and age-matched with epileptic children who served as a control group. We investigated the seropositivity rate for antitoxoplasma IgG antibodies by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Results The seropositivity rate for antitoxoplasma IgG antibodies among patients with cryptogenic epilepsy (40%) was found to be higher than healthy volunteers (10%) and patients with known-cause epilepsy (10%), with statistical significance (χ2 = 8.006, P = 0.014). This significance persists after adjustment for subjects' sex and age in a multiple logistic regression model. Conclusion Our results suggest that chronic T. gondii infection may be a cause of cryptogenic epilepsy.


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