Chlamydophila Pneumoniae DNA in Coronary Atherosclerotic Plaques: A Causal Association
Background: Association between infection by Chlamydophila pneumoniae 'Chlamydia pneumoniae' (C. pneumoniae) and atherosclerosis has been frequently reported. Molecular techniques as Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) has been used by many researchers for detection of C. pneumoniae DNA in atherosclerotic plaques with variable prevalence rates.
Methods:This study investigated the presence of C. pneumoniae DNA, by using PCR, in coronary atherosclerotic plaques surgically removed from patients undergoing coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG); histopathological study of the plaques was also performed. In addition, the association between the serum levels of high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP), fibrinogen and the presence of C. pneumoniae DNA in coronary atherosclerotic plaques was also studied.
Results: Revealed the presence of C. pneumoniae DNA in 56.5% of the studied atherosclerotic plaques and that its presence was significantly associated with chronic inflammatory cell infiltrate, and high levels of hsCRP. Conclusion: The results point to the likelihood of involvement of C. pneumoniae in the pathogenesis of coronary atheroma rather than being a mere association.
Key words: Coronary heart disease, Chlamydophila pneumoniae, PCR, CRP