Herpesviruses and Toxoplasma gondii in orbital frontal cortex of psychiatric patients

Concepcion Conejero-Goldberg, E. Fuller Torrey, Robert H. Yolken

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


Herpes simplex virus (HSV), Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), cytomegalovirus (CMV), and human herpesvirus-6 (HHV-6) are viruses capable of establishing latency. All of these infect the CNS and have been detected in human postmortem brains. Toxoplasma gondii is a protozoan organism which can reactivate in the brains of previously infected immunocompromised individuals. To screen for the presence of herpesviruses and T. gondii in postmortem orbital frontal brain samples from patients with schizophrenia, affective disorders, and controls, we used nested-polymerase chain reaction (n-PCR)/sequencing. We identified HHV-6B sequences in 2/51 postmortem brain samples but no sequences from other herpesviruses. We did not detect sequences of T. gondii in the postmortem brains. Additional studies including ones directed at the sensitive detection of viral nucleic acids in multiple brain regions should be directed at confirming or excluding a role for viruses and protozoa in the etiology of these disorders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)65-69
Number of pages5
JournalSchizophrenia Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 2003


  • Herpesvirus
  • Orbital frontal cortex
  • PCR
  • Postmortem
  • Schizophrenia
  • Toxoplasma gondii

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry


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