Schizophrenia Research 2003 Mar 1


Schizophrenia Research 2003 Mar 1;60(1):65-9: in press


Herpesviruses and toxoplasma gondii in orbital frontal cortex of psychiatric


Conejero-Goldberg C, Torrey EF, Yolken RH

Herpes simplex virus (HSV), Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), cytomegalovirus (CMV),

and human herpesvirus-6 (HHV-6) are viruses capable of establishing latency. 

All of these infect the CNS and have been detected in human postmortem brains. 

Toxoplasma gondii is a protozoan organism which can reactivate in brains of

previously infected immunocompromised individuals.  To screen for the

presence of herpesviruses and T. gondii in postmortem orbital frontal brain

samples from patients with schizophrenia, affective disorders, and controls, we

used nested-polymerase chain reaction (n-PCR)/sequencing.  We identified

HHV-6B sequences in 2/51 postmortem brain samples but no sequences from other

herpesviruses.  We did not detect sequences of T. gondii in the postmortem

brains.  Additional studies including ones directed at the sensitive

detection of viral nucleic acids in multiple brain regions should be directed at

confirming or excluding a role for viruses and protozoa in the etiology of these