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The relation of serum prolactin levels and Toxoplasma infection in humans

Authors Mohammadpour A, Keshavarz H, Mohebali M, Salimi M, Teimouri A, Shojaee S

Received 28 September 2018

Accepted for publication 23 November 2018

Published 20 December 2018 Volume 2019:12 Pages 7—12


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Scott Fraser

A Mohammadpour,1 H Keshavarz,1 M Mohebali,1 M Salimi,1 A Teimouri,1,2 S Shojaee1

1Department of Medical Parasitology and Mycology, School of Public Health, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran; 2Students Scientific Research Center, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

Toxoplasma gondii is an intracellular protozoan parasite distributed worldwide. Although the infection is benign in immunocompetent individuals, it is life threatening and complicated in immunocompromised patients and fetuses of pregnant women who received their first exposure to T. gondii during the pregnancy. Prolactin (PRL) is a hormone that is secreted by the pituitary gland, and it is confirmed that it plays a role in the immune system. The present study was carried out to assess the possible relation between serum PRL levels and Toxoplasma infection frequency in human.
Methods: In this cross-sectional study, 343 serum samples (240 from women and 103 from men) were collected from individuals who were referred for PRL checking in laboratories of Karaj, Iran. Blood samples were collected, and sera were separated and analyzed for the detection of anti-Toxoplasma IgG antibody by ELISA method. The levels of PRL were measured by Roche Elecsys 2010 analyzer, electrochemiluminescence technology.
Results: Of 343 sera, 110 samples (32%) consisting of samples from 42 men and 68 women had anti-T. gondii IgG antibody. The prevalence of T. gondii infection in women with high PRL levels was lower than that in the comparison group with normal levels of PRL and the relationship between these two parameters was statistically significant (P=0.016). In women with hyperprolactinemia, by increasing of PRL levels, the prevalence of T. gondii infection was reduced.
Conclusion: The results of the current study confirmed the previous studies based on immunoregulatory role of PRL and indicated that high levels of PRL could be related to Toxoplasma seronegativity in women.

Keywords: Toxoplasma gondii, IgG antibody, prolactin, ECL technology, hypoprolactinemia, cytokines, hyperprolactinemia, dopamine

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