Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Women Infected With Toxoplasmosis Are More Likely To Have Boys Than Girls

Date:
October 12, 2006
Source:
Springer
Summary:
Women infected with dormant toxoplasmosis are more likely to give birth to boys than women who are Toxoplasma negative, according to research published in Springer's journal Naturwissenschaften this week. S. Kankova and colleagues from Charles University in the Czech Republic found that the presence of the parasite Toxoplasma gondii in the mothers' blood increased the likelihood that these women would give birth to a boy.

Women infected with dormant toxoplasmosis are more likely to give birth to boys than women who are Toxoplasma negative, according to research by S. Kankova and colleagues from the Departments of Parasitology, Microbiology and Zoology, Charles University; the Centre of Reproductive Medicine; and GynCentrum, in the Czech Republic.

They found that the presence of the parasite Toxoplasma gondii in the mothers’ blood, one of the most common parasites in humans with a worldwide prevalence of 20-80%, increased the likelihood that these women would give birth to a boy. This is the first study [1], published in Springer’s journal Naturwissenschaften this week, to suggest an effect of parasitic infection on the sex of a baby.

Kankova and colleagues analysed the effect of latent (or dormant) toxoplasmosis [2] on the probability of the birth of a boy in humans. Latent toxoplasmosis is asymptomatic but is usually a life-long infection characterised by the presence of anti-Toxoplasma antibodies in the blood.

They analysed over 1800 clinical records of babies born between 1996-2004 in private maternity clinics in the Czech Republic. Women attending these private clinics were routinely tested for toxoplasmosis. The records contained information on the mother’s age, the concentration of anti-Toxoplasma antibodies in the mother’s blood, previous deliveries and abortions, and the sex of the newborn.

On average worldwide, for every three children born, only one is a boy. Kankova’s team found that Toxoplasma positive mothers gave birth to more boys than did Toxoplasma negative women. The probability of a male birth also increased, up to two boys in three children, with increasing levels of anti-Toxoplasma antibodies. According to the researchers, the increased survival of male embryos in infected women may be explained by toxoplasmosis’ modulating and suppressing effects on the immune system.

The authors caution that this observational study suggests that toxoplasmosis may be the cause of this increase in male births, but it cannot establish cause and effect. They conclude that “an independent confirmation of this tentative conclusion by a manipulative experiment (by experimental infection of animals) is necessary.”

1. Kankova S et al (2006). Women infected with parasite Toxoplasma have more sons. (Naturwissenschaften, DOI 10.1007/s00114-006-0166-2)

2. Toxoplasmosis is an infection caused by parasites transmitted to humans from consumption of raw or undercooked meat of an intermediate host (such as pig, sheep and rabbit) and food or water contaminated with soil containing cat feces. If a pregnant woman is infected with toxoplasmosis, this has potentially fatal consequences for the fetus.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Springer. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Springer. "Women Infected With Toxoplasmosis Are More Likely To Have Boys Than Girls." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 October 2006. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/10/061012091031.htm>.
Springer. (2006, October 12). Women Infected With Toxoplasmosis Are More Likely To Have Boys Than Girls. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/10/061012091031.htm
Springer. "Women Infected With Toxoplasmosis Are More Likely To Have Boys Than Girls." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/10/061012091031.htm (accessed July 25, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Friday, July 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) The FDA approved Targiniq ER on Wednesday, a painkiller designed to keep users from abusing it. Like any new medication, however, it has doubters. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Newsy (July 24, 2014) Sheik Umar Khan has treated many of the people infected in the Ebola outbreak, and now he's become one of them. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Condemned Man's US Execution Takes Nearly Two Hours

Condemned Man's US Execution Takes Nearly Two Hours

AFP (July 24, 2014) America's death penalty debate raged Thursday after it took nearly two hours for Arizona to execute a prisoner who lost a Supreme Court battle challenging the experimental lethal drug cocktail. Duration: 00:55 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Can Watching TV Make You Feel Like A Failure?

Can Watching TV Make You Feel Like A Failure?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) A study by German researchers claims watching TV while you're stressed out can make you feel guilty and like a failure. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

    Health News

      Environment News

        Technology News



          Save/Print:
          Share:

          Free Subscriptions


          Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

          Get Social & Mobile


          Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

          Have Feedback?


          Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
          Mobile: iPhone Android Web
          Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
          Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
          Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins