Role of Toxoplasma gondii in Thyroiditis of Pregnant Women


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Abstract

Abstract: Toxoplasmosis (acute and latent) is the most prevalent parasitic infection worldwide and can be associated with some problems in pregnant women. Thyroid diseases are the most common endocrine disorders secondary to diabetes among pregnant women. Previous studies proposed a relationship between latent Toxoplasmosis (LT) and autoimmune thyroiditis diseases (AITDs). This study intended to investigate the frequency and correlation between Toxoplasmosis and AITD in pregnant women. In this cross-sectional study, the statistical population included 1248 pregnant women at the gestational age of 9-16 weeks and in Tehran. The Toxoplasma IgM and IgG tests were assessed with enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). The diagnostic criteria for toxoplasmosis were abnormal IgG and IgM titers. In addition, FT4, TPO Ab, and TSH were evaluated using enzyme-linked fluorescence immunoassay (ELFA). TPO Ab was used to distinguish thyroid patients with autoimmune origin from those with other thyroiditis diseases. The analysis showed no significant relationship between keeping a house cat and acute toxoplasmosis. Acute and latent toxoplasmosis represented 3.4% and 29.6%, respectively. The frequency of thyroid diseases was 18.8% (hypothyroidism 15.8% versus hyperthyroidism 3%). The frequency of autoimmune thyroiditis diseases (AITDs) was 5.5%, and 27.9% of subjects with latent Toxoplasmosis (LT) had a thyroiditis disease, but 13.8% of pregnant women with LT had only AITD with a significant correlation (p<0.001). Results show that Toxoplasma IgG+ can increase the risk of AITD by 10.39-fold and a higher TPO Ab titer in people with LT. It seems Toxoplasma gondii may cause thyroiditis in pregnant women likely because antigenic similarity of Toxoplasma and thyroperoxidase leads to cross-reactivity in the immune system, potentially causing AITD. It might be said that the high prevalence of LT among pregnant women may have a potential role in the stimulation of the immune system to the development of autoimmune diseases, such as AITD. So future studies could be conducted with a focus on discovering molecular similarities between thyroperoxidase and Toxoplasma antigens.

About the authors

Gholamreza Valizadeh

Department of Parasitology and Mycology, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

Email: nimavalizadeh@ymail.com

Магистр медицинской паразитологии кафедры паразитологии и микологии

Iran, Islamic Republic of

Mohammad-Ebrahim Khamseh

Department of Internal Medicine and endocrinology, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

Email: khamseh.m@iums.ac.ir

Эндокринолог, профессор кафедры внутренней медицины и эндокринологии

Iran, Islamic Republic of

Maryam Kashaniyan

Gynaecologist Professor, Iran University of Medical Sciences, tehran, Iran

Email: rahelehsd@yahoo.com

Гинеколог, профессор

Iran, Islamic Republic of

Raheleh Rafiei-Sefiddashti

Department of Parasitology and Mycology, School of Medicine, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

Author for correspondence.
Email: rafiei.r@iums.ac.ir
ORCID iD: 0000-0001-5489-823X

Доцент кафедры паразитологии и микологии медицинского факультета

Iran, Islamic Republic of

Ramtin Hadighi

Department of Parasitology and Mycology, School of Medicine, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

Email: hadighi.r@iums.ac.ir

Доцент кафедры паразитологии и микологии медицинского факультета

Iran, Islamic Republic of

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Copyright (c) 2022 Valizadeh G., Khamseh M., Kashaniyan M., Rafiei-Sefiddashti R., Hadighi R.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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