Analysis of Serum for Antibodies to Cytomegalovirus in Individuals with Schizophrenia and Bipolar Disorder

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Addis Ababa University


Background: Several evidences suggest that Cytomegalovirus (CMV) may play anetiological role in some case of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Studies have reported that some individuals experiencing initial episodes of major mental disorders have increased levels of immunoglobulin G(IgG) to CMV. Objective: To determine the magnitude of CMV infection in individuals with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and healthy controls by using serologic diagnostic methods. Materials and Methods: A case control study conducted from March to May of 2009. A total of 844 serum samples were analysed for the presence and level of IgG to CMV using enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA).Serawere collected from 216 individuals with schizophrenia, 199with bipolar disorder and 429close relatives and their healthy controls, recruited from Butajira district.Seropositivity summarized using percentage and antibody level was summarized using mean. Logistic regression was used for cross tabulated data and linear regression for comparing antibody level among groups. All test of significance was two tailed and ,p < 0.05 is considered significant. Results:99.3% of tested serawere positive for IgG to CMV. However, serum levels of IgGto CMV in individuals with schizophrenia[β = 0.21; 95% CI (0.03, 0.38)]and bipolar disorder [β = 0.20; 95% CI (0.02, 0.37)]were higher compared to healthy controls. Younger individuals with schizophrenia (<20 years) had higher level of IgG to CMV compared to matched healthy controls[β = 0.64;95% CI (0.10, 1.19)]. Conclusion: This study provided serologic evidence that infection with CMV may be associated with some cases of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Additional studies should be directed at further analysis of antibodies to CMV in the sera and CSF of individuals with recent onset of psychosis.



CMV, Schizophrenia, Bipolar disorder, Butajira, Ethiopia