Multiple sclerosis Neurological infections

Does toxoplasmosis protect against developing multiple sclerosis?

Is toxoplasma gondii playing a positive role in multiple sclerosis risk? A systematic review and meta-analysis.

Saberi R, Sharif M, Sarvi S, et al.

J Neuroimmunol 2018; 322:57-62.



Toxoplasmosis is a parasitic disease caused by Toxoplasma gondii with a globally widespread distribution.


The aim of this systematic review and meta-analysis was to characterize the association between T. gondii infection and multiple sclerosis (MS). The data were systematically collected from the English electronic databases up to April 2017. The research process resulted in the identification of five studies related to the subject of interest entailing 669 MS patients and 770 controls. T


The pooled prevalence rates of T. gondii infection in the MS patients and controls were estimated as 32.4% (95% CI: 27.4-38.6) and 39.1% (95% CI: 29.1-50.5), respectively. By random effect model, the combined odds ratio was 0.72 (95% CI: 0.49-1.06) with P = .0961.


Although this meta-analysis study showed a lower seroprevalence of T. gondii in the MS patients as compared with that in the control group, no significant association was found between toxoplasmosis and MS disease. Further investigations are recommended to determine the detailed association between MS patients and T. gondii infection.

This paper is cited in the neurochecklist:

Multiple sclerosis (MS): non-modifiable risk factors

Abstract link

CC BY 4.0, Link

By Ibrahim Imam

I am a UK Neurologist keen on general neurology, but with an interest in neuromuscular diseases. I maintain the neurology searchable database, I also blog at I share and discuss current issues around clinical neurology. I hope you find my blogs enlightening, practical, and even entertaining.

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