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Herpes Simplex Virus Type 1 infection is associated with suicidal behavior and first registered psychiatric diagnosis in a healthy population

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  • Janna Nissen, Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Protein Research, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark; Department of Clinical Immunology, Copenhagen University Hospital, Rigshospitalet, Copenhagen, Denmark. Electronic address: inis0003@regionh.dk.
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  • Betina Trabjerg
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  • Marianne Giørtz Pedersen Pedersen
  • Karina Banasik, Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Protein Research, University of Copenhagen, Blegdamsvej 3B, 2200 Copenhagen N, Denmark.
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  • Ole Birger Pedersen, Department of Clinical Immunology, Naestved Hospital, Naestved, Denmark.
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  • Erik Sørensen, Department of Clinical Immunology, Copenhagen University Hospital, Rigshospitalet, Copenhagen, Denmark
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  • Kaspar René Nielsen, Department of Clinical Immunology, Aalborg University Hospital, Aalborg, Denmark.
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  • Christian Erikstrup
  • Mikkel Steen Petersen, Department of Clinical Immunology, Aarhus University Hospital, Aarhus, Denmark.
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  • Helene Martina Paarup, o Department of Clinical Immunology , Odense University Hospital , Odense , Denmark.
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  • Peter Bruun-Rasmussen, Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Protein Research, University of Copenhagen, Blegdamsvej 3B, 2200 Copenhagen N, Denmark.
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  • David Westergaard, Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Protein Research, University of Copenhagen, Blegdamsvej 3B, 2200 Copenhagen N, Denmark.
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  • T F Hansen, Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Protein Research, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark; Danish Headache Center, Department of Neurology, Rigshospitalet-Glostrup, Denmark; Institute of Biological Psychiatry, Mental Health Centre Sct. Hans, Copenhagen University Hospital, Roskilde, Denmark.
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  • Carsten B Pedersen
  • Thomas Werge, Department of Psychiatry, University of California, San Diego, CA 94143, USA; Institute of Biological Psychiatry, MHC Sct. Hans, Mental Health Services Copenhagen, Roskilde 4000, Denmark; The Lundbeck Foundation Initiative for Integrative Psychiatric Research, iPSYCH, Denmark; KG Jebsen Centre for Psychosis Research, Norway Division of Mental Health and Addiction, Oslo University Hospital, Oslo 0318, Norway.
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  • Fuller Torrey, Stanley Medical Research Institute, Kensington, MD, School of Medicine, Baltimore, USA.
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  • Henrik Hjalgrim, Department of Epidemiology Research, Statens Serum Institut, Copenhagen, Denmark,; Department of Hematology, Copenhagen University Hospital, Rigshospitalet, Copenhagen, Denmark.
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  • Preben Bo Mortensen
  • Robert Yolken, Stanley Division of Developmental Neurovirology, Stanley Neurovirology Laboratory, Johns Hopkins University, USA.
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  • Søren Brunak, Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Protein Research, University of Copenhagen, Blegdamsvej 3B, 2200 Copenhagen N, Denmark.
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  • Henrik Ullum, Department of Clinical Immunology, Copenhagen University Hospital, Rigshospitalet, Copenhagen, Denmark
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  • K S Burgdorf, Department of Clinical Immunology, Copenhagen University Hospital, Rigshospitalet, Copenhagen, Denmark

Increasing evidence shows that latent infections and inflammation is associated with cognitive and behavioral changes in humans. This case-control study investigates the association between Herpes Simplex Virus Type 1 (HSV-1) infection and C-reactive Protein (CRP) levels, and psychiatric disorders and suicidal behavior. Public health register data from 81,912 participants in the Danish Blood Donor Study, were reviewed to identify individuals registered with an ICD-10 code of any psychiatric diagnosis, or who had attempted or committed suicide. We found 1,504 psychiatric cases and 353 suicidal cases; for all cases, controls were frequency-matched by age and sex, resulting in 5,336 participants. Plasma samples were analyzed for IgG-class antibodies against HSV-1 and CRP. HSV-1 infection was associated with suicidal behavior (odds-ratio, 1.40; 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.11-1.77). Accounting for temporality, HSV-1 infection was associated with having first psychiatric disorder after the date of blood collection (incidence rate ration, 1.44; 95% CI, 1.05-1.95). No association between CRP and psychiatric disorders or suicidal behavior was found. The finding that HSV-1 was associated with suicidal behavior and first psychiatric disorder indicates that infection may play a role in the etiology and pathogenesis of suicidal behavior and development of psychiatric disorders.

Original languageEnglish
JournalPsychoneuroendocrinology
Volume108
Pages (from-to)150-154
Number of pages5
ISSN0306-4530
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 28 Jun 2019

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