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      Higher prevalence of toxoplasmosis in victims of traffic accidents suggest increased risk of traffic accident in Toxoplasma-infected inhabitants of Istanbul and its suburbs

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          Reflexes of drivers who have toxoplasmosis have been shown to deteriorate from the actions of the parasitic cysts. The cysts can change the level of the neurotransmitters such as dopamine in the brain and by doing so extend the muscle response time and change personality profiles. In this study, we aimed to determine the frequency of the latent toxoplasmosis (LT) in the driver population who were either injured or died in traffic accidents reported in Istanbul and its suburbs. We compared the results with a control group and discussed the relationship between the LT and the traffic accidents. We included 218 (89.7%) non-fatal, 25 (10.3%) fatal cases in our study as study groups. A total 243 subjects, 234 (96%) male, 9 (4%) female (who were alcohol negative) compared with 191 (95.5%) male and 9 (4.5%) female subjects (control group) who had a traffic accident before but no history of toxoplasmosis were studied. Serologic tests, enzyme immunoassay (EIA) for IgG and IgM, and microimmunoflorescence (MIF) for IgG were used as the reference test, the Sabin-Feldman Dye test (SFDT) was used. According to serologic test results, LT seroprevalence in the study groups was 130 (53.5%) and in the control group 56 (28%) (p<0.0001). A LT was present in 126 out of 234 (53.8%) males in the study groups, and 54 out of 191 (28.3%) males in the control group (p<0.0001). In the 31-44 year age group, there was a significant difference with regard to toxoplasmosis between the study subjects and control groups (p<0.0001). This difference was statistically very significant in (recent and former) cases with middle-aged men (31-44 years old). The results of this retrospective study suggest that LT in drivers, especially those who are between 31 and 44 years might increase the risk for getting involved in a car accident. In a prospective study, Toxoplasma positive and negative subjects can be monitored before they are involved in a traffic accident to clarify the cause and result relationship.

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          Author and article information

          Forensic Science International
          Forensic Science International
          Elsevier BV
          May 2009
          May 2009
          : 187
          : 1-3
          : 103-108
          © 2009




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