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HERPESVIRUSES AND TOXOPLASMA GONDII IN ORBITAL FRONTAL CORTEX OF PSYCHIATRIC PATIENTS

Schizophr Res 2003 Mar 1;60(1):65-9

Conejero-Goldberg C, Torrey EF, Yolken RH

ABSTRACT:

Herpes simplex virus (HSV), Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), cytomegalovirus (CMV), and human herpesvirus-6 (HV-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 the brains of previously infected immunocompromised individuals. To screen for the presence of herpesvirus 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 herpesvirus. 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 region should be directed at confirming or excluding a role for viruses and protozoa in the etiology of these disorders.

 

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