Toxoplasma gondii: A possible etiologic agent for Alzheimer's disease

Elsevier, Heliyon, Volume 7, June 2021
Nayeri T., Sarvi S., Sharif M., Daryani A.

Toxoplasma gondii (T. gondii) is one of the most pervasive neurotropic pathogens causing different lesions in a wide variety of mammals as intermediate hosts, including humans. It is estimated that one-third of the world population is infected with T. gondii; however, for a long time, there has been much interest in the examination of the possible role of this parasite in the development of mental disorders, such as Alzheimer's disease (AD). T. gondii may play a role in the progression of AD using mechanisms, such as the induction of the host's immune responses, inflammation of the central nervous system (CNS), alteration in the levels of neurotransmitters, and activation of indoleamine-2,3-dyoxigenase. This paper presents an appraisal of the literature, reports, and studies that seek to the possible role of T. gondii in the development of AD. For achieving the purpose of the current study, a search of six English databases (PubMed, ScienceDirect, Web of Science, Scopus, ProQuest, and Google Scholar) was performed. The results support the involvement of T. gondii in the induction and development of AD. Indeed, T. gondii can be considered a risk factor for the development of AD and requires the special attention of specialists and patients. Furthermore, the results of this study may contribute to prevent or delay the progress of AD worldwide. Therefore, it is required to carry out further studies in order to better perceive the parasitic mechanisms in the progression of AD.