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  • 1 Juárez University of Durango State, Avenida Universidad S/N, 34000 Durango, Mexico
  • 2 Juárez University of Durango State, Avenida Universidad S/N, 34000 Durango, Mexico
  • 3 Servicios de Salud de Durango, Durango, México, Cuauhtémoc 225 norte, 34000 Durango, Mexico
  • 4 Charité Medical School, Hindenburgdamm 27, D-12203 Berlin, Germany
Open access

The presence of tissue cysts of Toxoplasma gondii has only poorly been investigated in autopsy series. We determined the presence of T. gondii cysts in a series of 51 autopsies in a public hospital using immunohistochemistry of brain and heart tissues. The association of tissue cysts with the general characteristics of the autopsy cases was also investigated.

Of the 51 cases studied, five (9.8%) were positive by immunohistochemistry for T. gondii cysts in the brain. None of the heart specimens was positive for T. gondii cysts. The presence of T. gondii cysts in brains did not vary with age, sex, birthplace, residence, education, occupation, or the presence of pathology in the brain. In contrast, multivariate analysis showed that the presence of T. gondii cysts was associated with undernourishment (OR = 33.90; 95% CI: 2.82–406.32; P = 0.005).

We demonstrated cerebral T. gondii cysts in an autopsy series in Durango City, Mexico. Results suggest that T. gondii can be more readily found in brain than in heart of infected individuals. This is the first report of an association between the presence of T. gondii in brains and undernourishment.

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