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Year : 2016  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 37-42

Soluble intercellular adhesion molecule-1 as a marker for the possible role of Toxoplasma gondii in the pathogenesis of cryptogenic epilepsy

1 Department of Parasitology, Faculty of Medicine, Benha University, Benha, Egypt
2 Department of Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, Benha University, Benha, Egypt

Correspondence Address:
Maysa A Eraky
Department of Parasitology, Faculty of Medicine, Benha University, Benha 13518
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1687-7942.192989

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Background Congenital toxoplasmosis may be without an obvious clinical picture at birth and later present with variable signs and symptoms, mostly related to the central nervous system. Cryptogenic epilepsy in children is one of those conditions without obvious etiology and in which latent toxoplasmosis may be implicated. Soluble cell adhesion molecules (sICAM-1) are circulating biomarkers of DNA shed by living organisms and of pathogenic processes. Aim The present study aimed to investigate the possible association of Toxoplasma gondii infection with cryptogenic epilepsy and to determine the increase in sICAM-1 level as an indicator of the possible role of T. gondii in the pathogenesis of cryptogenic epilepsy. Materials and methods Ninety children (40 with cryptogenic epilepsy, 30 with noncryptogenic epilepsy, and 20 healthy controls) were evaluated to determine exposure to T. gondii by means of specific immunoglobulin (Ig) G seropositivity and the corresponding sICAM-1 serum levels. Respective specific enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay kits were used. Results The level of T. gondii IgG antibody seropositivity was significantly higher among children with cryptogenic epilepsy (20%) than among noncryptogenic epileptic children (0%). In healthy controls, seropositivity was 10%. sICAM-1 was recorded with variable levels, in all cases and controls (90%). In the cryptogenic group, the level ranged from 3.13 to more than 50 ng/ml, whereas it was lower in the noncryptogenic control group, with a maximum sICAM-1 level of 25 ng/ml. In the healthy control group, only one case presented a sICAM-1 level of 25–50 ng/ml. In addition, among IgG-seropositive cases, five cases showed a high sICAM-1 level of 25–50 ng/ml, whereas the remaining three IgG-seropositive cases showed lower sICAM-1 level (12.6–25 ng/ml). In healthy children, the two Toxoplasma IgG-seropositive cases showed a sICAM-1 level of 3.13–25 ng/ml. Conclusion The statistically significant results of IgG positivity among the crytptogenic cases supported the possible association between toxoplasmosis infection and cryptogenic epilepsy and revealed the associated upregulation of sICAM-1 level in this condition, thus suggesting that toxoplasmosis should be taken into consideration as a predisposing factor in cryptogenic epilepsy.

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