Certain Infections Associated with Higher Rates of Parkinson Disease

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Certain viral and bacterial infections are associated with higher rates of Parkinson disease.

Some infections are associated with higher rates of Parkinson disease, according to a results of a study presented at the American Academy of Neurology Annual Meeting, held May 4-10, 2019, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Researchers conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of 13 databases, and identified 60,493 records, from which 20 articles that examined the association between infections and Parkinson disease were included. The National Institute of Health quality assessment tools were used to assess the methodological quality of each study, with clinical and statistical associations between various infections and Parkinson disease as the primary endpoint.

A significant association was identified between bacterial infections and Parkinson Disease, with an odds ratio (OR) of 2.45 (95% CI, 1.52-3.93). Neither parasitic infections nor overall viral infections were significantly associated with Parkinson disease. However, statistically significant associations were found between Parkinson Disease and certain individual viral infections such as cytomegalovirus (OR 4.56; 95% CI, 2.44-8.54), rubella (OR 2.69; 95% CI, 1.23-5.88), measles (OR 0.64; 95% CI, 1.37-5.09), hepatitis B (OR 0.74; 95% CI, 0.56-0.98), and varicella zoster virus (OR 1.2; 95% CI, 1.04-1.39).

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The study researchers concluded that “Certain bacterial and viral infections are associated with higher rates of [Parkinson disease].”


Elfaituri MK, Ghozy S, El-Sayed Sakr E, et al. Infection and Parkinson’s disease: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Presented at: 2019 American Academy of Neurology Annual Meeting; May 4-10, 2019; Philadelphia, PA. Abstract P3.8-047.