YKL-40 as a novel diagnostic biomarker in Toxoplasmosis

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Farah Abd AL-Zahra Shahad
Ahmed A. Mohammed
Ghaith Ali Jasim


Toxoplasmosis, Toxoplasma gondii, YKL-40, biomarkers, diagnosis.


Toxoplasmosis is one of the most globally prevalent zoonotic infection caused by an obligate, intracellular parasite called Toxoplasma gondii. Toxoplasmosis actively triggers an acute immune response and inflammatory reactions, causes serious pathological changes in various tissues in the human body, and more evidently localizes in different nervous tissues of various body organs. The YKL-40 is a glycoprotein secreted by numerous cell types in different patterns associated with various pathological processes such as inflammatory reactions, tissue remodeling, fibrosis, and thought it is a disease-specific biomarker of neuroinflammation. Therefore, The current study aimed to determine if the YKL-40 is markedly increased in toxoplasmosis or not and if its level is different between the acute and chronic phases of the infection to determine if it can be used as a clinically useful biomarker in the diagnosis, determination of disease severity and follow up of toxoplasmosis. Accordingly, a total of eighty serum samples were collected from previously diagnosed female patients with toxoplasmosis of different ages. In addition, ten healthy female sera were used as a control. Patients were firstly divided into two groups (30 patients with acute infection and 50 patients with chronic infection) depending on the results of detecting the specific anti-Toxoplasma IgM and IgG by ELISA. The level of YKL-40 was then measured in the patients’ serum by ELISA. The statistical analysis of data clearly disclosed very highly significant differences (p <0.001) between the level of YKL-40 in the acute infection group and healthy controls, chronic infection group and healthy controls, and between the groups of acute and chronic infection. These findings lead to conclude that YKL-40 classify as a unique and sophisticated biomarker in the diagnosis of toxoplasmosis where it can vitally be used to detect the stage of the disease whether acute or chronic, beside its ability to detect the infection.

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