Detection of toxoplasmosis in patients with end-stage renal disease by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and polymerase chain reaction methods
Toxoplasmosis caused by Toxoplasma gondii is an opportunistic infection. In healthy individuals, the infection is largely asymptomatic, but in immunocompromised people the parasite can become widely disseminated, causing severe toxoplasmosis. In patients undergoing haemodialysis, the phagocytic process shows a highly significant impairment. Therefore, this study aimed to investigate toxoplasmosis in patients with end-stage renal disease (ESRD) undergoing haemodialysis in Ahvaz hospitals, southwest of Iran. A total of 280 patients and 100 healthy subjects participated in this study. The presence of serum IgM and IgG antibodies against T. gondii was detected by ELISA and the presence of Toxoplasma parasites in whole blood was evaluated by GRA6 PCR. Anti-T. gondii IgG antibodies were detected in 82 (29.3 %) haemodialysis patients and 26 (26 %) controls. In addition, anti-T. gondii IgM antibodies were detected in 7.9 % of patients and in 4 % of controls. For both the antibodies, the differences were statistically significant (P < 0.05). PCR was performed with DNA extracted from blood samples of all patients and controls. PCR gave positive results with four of the 280 blood samples from patients but none for the control blood samples. The results revealed a high percentage of positivity for Toxoplasma antibodies in patients with ESRD undergoing haemodialysis and also confirmed the parasite in whole blood, indicating disseminated infection in these patients. Patients undergoing dialysis have a higher rate of active infection with Toxoplasma likely due to reactivation of a chronic infection. Thus, parasitological examinations of ESRD patients should be periodically carried out for monitoring and evaluating the possible dissemination of toxoplasmosis during haemodialysis.
KeywordsHaemodialysis Patient Toxoplasmosis ESRD Patient Toxoplasmic Encephalitis GRA6 Gene
This study originates from the thesis of Mrs. Shahrzad Soltani, an MSc student of medical parasitology, granted by the Ahvaz Jundishapur University of Medical Science and approved in the ethical committee (code no. CMRC-41). The authors would like to thank Rahman Abdizadeh for kindly providing us with Toxoplasma tachyzoites and all managers and staff of the hospitals in Ahvaz for their valuable collaboration. The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.
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