Prevalence of toxoplasma infection in a cohort of homosexual men at risk of aids and toxoplasmic encephalitis

Dennis M. Israelski, Joan S. Chmiel, Linda Poggensee, John P. Phair, Jack S. Remington*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

70 Scopus citations


The purpose of this study was to characterize the epidemiologic, clinical, and laboratory parameters of a cohort of men at risk of AIDS-associated toxoplasmic encephalitis. One hundred seventeen (11%) of the 1, 073 participants at the time of enrollment into the Chicago Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study (MACS) were seropositive for Toxoplasma antibodies. Significant differences in prevalence of antibodies between African-American, Hispanic, or white men were not observed (p = 0.49). One hundred one (86%) of the 117 antibody-positive participants had at least one follow-up serology performed and 6 (6%) of the 101 had a significant rise in IgG antibody titer on subsequent visits. Five of six participants with a significant rise in titer were also seropositive for HIV-1 at entry or seroconverted during the study. A trend toward higher IgG Toxoplasma titers and prevalence of IgM antibodies in participants seropositive for HIV-1 was observed, but the differences did not reach statistical significance. There was no evidence that the presence of Toxoplasma infection predisposed to development of CD4+ depletion or AIDS. None of the 183 individuals in the cohort who developed AIDS and who were seronegative for Toxoplasma antibodies developed toxoplasmic encephalitis. In contrast, of the 13 persons who developed AIDS and who were positive for Toxoplasma antibodies, 5 (38%) developed toxoplasmic encephalitis. Prevalence of Toxoplasma antibodies in the MACS population was independent of HIV-1 serostatus. Toxoplasma infection does not appear to predispose to progression of HIV-1 infection. The risk of development of toxoplasmic encephalitis in persons with AIDS and chronic Toxoplasma infection may have been underestimated by previous retrospective studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)414-418
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1993


  • Encephalitis
  • Homosexual men
  • Race
  • Toxoplasma gondii
  • Toxoplasmosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Infectious Diseases
  • Pharmacology (medical)

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