Increased Risk of Toxoplasma gondii Infection in Patients with Colorectal Cancer in Eastern China: Seroprevalence, Risk Factors, and a Case-Control Study

Colorectal Cancer

Biomed Res Int. 2020 Oct 6;2020:2539482. doi: 10.1155/2020/2539482. eCollection 2020.


The aim of this study was to explore the epidemiology of Toxoplasma gondii infection in patients with colorectal cancer (CRC) in eastern China. Therefore, 287 primary CRC patients and 287 age-matched healthy control subjects were recruited to estimate the seroprevalence of T. gondii and identify the risk factors of infection. Enzyme-linked immunoassays were used to test for anti-T. gondii immunoglobulin G (IgG) and IgM antibodies. Forty-six (16%) samples were positive for anti-T. gondii IgG antibodies in patients with CRC, compared with 26 (9.1%) in the healthy controls, a significant difference (P = 0.007). By contrast, eight (2.8%) patients tested positive for T. gondii IgM antibodies, compared with three (1.1%) in the controls, a difference that was not significant (P = 0.13). Multivariable backward stepwise logistic regression analysis revealed that a rural residence (OR 2.83; 95% CI 1.15-7.01; P = 0.024) and treatment with chemotherapy (OR 2.16; 95% CI 1.02-4.57; P = 0.045) were risk factors for T. gondii infection in patients with CRC. Thus, T. gondii infection is serious in patients with CRC, and a rural residence and treatment with chemotherapy are independent risk factors for infection by this parasite. Therefore, medical professionals should be aware of this pathogen in patients with CRC, and the causes of T. gondii infection in these patients need to be explored further.