Chlamydia pneumoniae infection in patients with atherosclerotic plaques

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Background: Previous studies showed that microbial infection such as Chlamydia pneumoniae is contributed to the development of atherosclerosis. This study evaluated the prevalence of C. pneumoniae in atherosclerotic plaques by PCR and immunofluorescence assay (IFA), and also it examined the correlation of disease severity and the presence of this bacterium. Materials and Methods: In this descriptive study sixty four specimens, thirty three plaques in case group and thirty one plaques in control group were assessed in Tehran University of Medical Sciences affiliated hospitals. The plaques was assessed by PCR nor IFA method. The data was analyzed by SPSS and t-test and fisher exact test was used. Results: Out of 33 case specimens, C. pneumoniae DNA and antigen were found in 6 (18%) and 7 (21%) of endarterectomy specimens, respectively. While none of control specimens was positive for C. pneumoniae either by neither PCR nor IFA method. Conclusion: Respect to remarkable presence of C. pneumoniae in atherosclerotic tissues and its absence in healthy vessels supports the hypothesis that C. pneumoniae may play an important role in the development of atherosclerosis, especially in regions where infection is frequent but the exact mechanisms for high prevalence of atherosclerotic vascular disease are not fully understood.