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Link Between T. gondii Infection, Glioma Risk Examined

TUESDAY, Jan. 12, 2021 -- Some evidence suggests that there is an increased risk for glioma among individuals who have had Toxoplasma gondii infection, according to a study published online Jan. 11 in the International Journal of Cancer.

James M. Hodge, J.D., M.P.H., from the American Cancer Society in Atlanta, and colleagues examined the association between prediagnostic T. gondii antibodies and the risk for glioma in two prospective cohorts. A total of 37 cases and 74 matched controls were selected from the American Cancer Society Cancer Prevention Study-II Nutrition Cohort (CPSII-NC), and 323 cases and 323 controls were included from the Norwegian Cancer Registry Janus Serum Bank (Janus).

The researchers observed an increased glioma risk among those infected with T. gondii (odds ratio, 2.70 [95 percent confidence interval, 0.96 to 7.62] for CPSII-NC; odds ratio, 1.32 [95 percent confidence interval, 0.85 to 2.07] for Janus). The increased risk was more prominent in individuals with higher antibody titers to the sag-1 antigen (CPSII-NC odds ratio, 3.35 [95 percent confidence interval, 0.99 to 11.38]; Janus odds ratio, 1.79 [95 percent confidence interval, 1.02 to 3.14]).

"The findings do suggest that individuals with higher exposure to the T. gondii parasite are more likely to go on to develop glioma," a coauthor said in a statement. "However, it should be noted that the absolute risk of being diagnosed with a glioma remains low, and these findings need to be replicated in a larger and more diverse group of individuals."

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Posted: January 2021

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