Antemortem diagnosis of cerebral toxoplasmosis, the second most common opportunistic infection (OI) in HIV-infected individuals in developing countries is a challenge.
Materials and Methods:
Toxoplasma gondii (T.gondii) -specific serology and nested polymerase chain reaction (nPCR) were evaluated in sera and ventricular/lumbar cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) of 22 autopsy confirmed cases of cerebral toxoplasmosis with HIV and 17 controls. Frequency of concomitant T.gondii infection was investigated in 17 cases of HIV-associated tuberculous meningitis (TBM).
The sensitivity, specificity, and positive and negative predictive values of T. gondii IgG on CSF (ventricular and lumbar) and sera was 100% in histology proven cerebral toxoplasmosis (concentrations: 258 ± 50, 231 ± 36, and 646 ± 243 IU/mL, respectively); majority (94%) being high avidity type, suggesting reactivation/reinfection. The sensitivity of B1 nPCR was 100% on ventricular CSF, whereas it was only 77% on lumbar CSF. Based on histology, nPCR, and IgG serology, T. gondii co-infection with TBM was observed in 65% (11/17) of cases.
Discussion and Conclusion:
CSF IgG serology and nPCR are tests with high sensitivity and specificity for the diagnosis of cerebral toxoplasmosis. TBM and cerebral toxoplasmosis can coexist and should be considered in the background of HIV infection in developing countries.