Serological Responses to Toxoplasma gondii and Matrix Antigen 1 Predict the Risk of Subsequent Toxoplasmic Encephalitis in People Living With Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)

Jianchun Xiao, Fiona Bhondoekhan, Eric C. Seaberg, Otto Yang, Valentina Stosor, Joseph B. Margolick, Robert H. Yolken, Raphael P. Viscidi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Clinically useful predictors for fatal toxoplasmosis are lacking. We investigated the value of serological assays for antibodies to whole Toxoplasma antigens and to peptide antigens of the Toxoplasma cyst matrix antigen 1 (MAG1), for predicting incident toxoplasmic encephalitis (TE) in people living with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV; PLWH). METHODS: We performed a nested case control study, conducted within the Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study (MACS), using serum samples obtained 2 years prior to diagnosis of TE from 28 cases, and 37 HIV disease-matched Toxoplasma seropositive controls at matched time-points. Sera were tested for Toxoplasma antibodies using a commercial assay and for antibodies to MAG1_4.2 and MAG1_5.2 peptides in enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). RESULTS: Two years prior to clinical diagnosis, 68% of TE cases were MAG1_4.2 seropositive compared with 16% of controls (odds ratio [OR] 25.0, 95% confidence interval [CI] 3.14-199.18). Corresponding results for MAG1_5.2 seropositivity were 36% and 14% (OR 3.6, 95% CI .95-13.42). Higher levels of antibody to MAG1_4.2 (OR 18.5 per doubling of the optical density [OD] value, 95% CI 1.41-242) and to Toxoplasma (OR 2.91 for each OD unit increase, 95% CI 1.48-5.72) were also associated with the risk of TE. When seropositivity was defined as the presence of MAG1 antibody or relatively high levels of Toxoplasma antibody, the sensitivity was 89% and specificity was 68% for subsequent TE. CONCLUSIONS: Antibodies to MAG1 showed predictive value on the occurrence of TE in PLWH, and the predictive performance was further improved by adding the levels of Toxoplasma antibody. These measures could be clinically useful for predicting subsequent diseases in multiple at-risk populations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e2270-e2277
JournalClinical infectious diseases : an official publication of the Infectious Diseases Society of America
Volume73
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 5 2021

Keywords

  • HIV
  • Toxoplasma gondii
  • matrix antigen 1
  • predict
  • serological responses
  • toxoplasmic encephalitis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases

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