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