Deficit schizophrenia: association with serum antibodies to cytomegalovirus


Schizophr Bull. 2006 Apr;32(2):396-400

Dickerson F, Kirkpatrick B, Boronow J, Stallings C, Origoni A., Yolken R

Stanley Research Center at Sheppard Pratt, 6501 North Charles St., Baltimore, MD 21204, USA. [email protected]


BACKGROUND: Patients with deficit schizophrenia differ from nondeficit patients with schizophrenia relative to several neurobiological correlates and relative to the risk factors of family history and season of birth. Exposure to human herpesviruses is a possible risk factor for schizophrenia. We hypothesized that there would be deficit/nondeficit differences in the prevalence of serum antibodies to human herpesviruses.

METHODS: In deficit (N = 88) and nondeficit (N = 235) schizophrenia patients, we measured IgG class antibodies to the 6 known human herpesviruses: herpes simplex virus type 1, herpes simplex virus type 2, cytomegalovirus, Epstein-Barr virus, human herpes virus 6, and varicella-zoster virus.

RESULTS: Deficit categorization was associated with the presence of serum antibodies to cytomegalovirus (odds ratio = 2.01, p = .006). This association remained significant after covarying for positive psychotic symptoms and demographic features known to be associated with cytomegalovirus seropositivity and after correcting for multiple comparisons. An association between herpes simplex virus type 1 and deficit status was not significant after covarying for potentially confounding variables. No other human herpesvirus was significantly associated with deficit versus nondeficit categorization.

CONCLUSIONS: The association between deficit schizophrenia and cytomegalovirus antibody seropositivity provides further evidence for differences in etiopathophysiology between deficit and nondeficit schizophrenia.