High frequency of infection of lung cancer patients with the parasite Toxoplasma gondii

Bajnok, J, Tarabulsi, M, Carlin, HV, Bown, K ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-9312-7224, Southworth, T, Dungwa, J, Singh, D, Lun, Z-R, Smyth, LJC and Hide, G ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-3608-0175 2019, 'High frequency of infection of lung cancer patients with the parasite Toxoplasma gondii' , ERJ Open Research, 5 (2) .

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Abstract

Toxoplasma gondii is an intracellular protozoan parasite that can cause a wide range of clinical conditions, including miscarriage and pneumonia. The global prevalence is 30% in humans but varies locally (e.g. UK is typically 10%). The association between lung cancer and Toxoplasma gondii infection was investigated by direct detection in lung tissue samples. Lung tissue samples were taken from patients undergoing lung resection surgery (n=72) for suspected lung cancer (infection prevalence 100% (95% CI: 93.9% - 100)). All 72 participants were confirmed as having lung cancer following subsequent diagnostic tests. Additionally, bronchial biopsy samples were collected from non-lung cancer healthy control subjects (n=10). Samples were tested for T. gondii using PCR amplification of T. gondii specific gene markers and T. gondii specific immunohistochemistry. All 72 lung cancer patients were infected with T. gondii (prevalence 100% (95% CI: 93.9% - 100%)). Of which, 95.8% (n=69) of patients showed evidence of active parasite stages. Infection prevalence in the controls (10%) was significantly lower (P<0.0001). Clinicians treating lung cancer patients should be aware of the potential presence of the parasite, the potential for induction of symptomatic complications and interference with treatment success.

Keywords: Toxoplasma; lung cancer; PCR; Immunohistochemistry; infectious disease; COPD

Item Type: Article
Schools: Schools > School of Environment and Life Sciences > Biomedical Research Centre
Schools > School of Environment and Life Sciences > Ecosystems and Environment Research Centre
Journal or Publication Title: ERJ Open Research
Publisher: European Respiratory Society
ISSN: 2312-0541
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Professor Geoff Hide
Date Deposited: 23 May 2019 10:55
Last Modified: 29 May 2019 11:45
URI: http://usir.salford.ac.uk/id/eprint/51416

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