Chlamydia pneumoniae

Jenny Williams Jenova at microbes.demon.co.uk
Sun Jul 20 12:09:30 EST 1997

In article <seanfennessy-1807971556440001 at p126-as1.dubexs.tinet.ie>,
Sean Fennessy <seanfennessy at tinet.ie> writes
>To all:
>   Has anyone heard about a causative role for C. pneumoniae in heart
>disease?  Any knowledge about the mechanism or whether this is different
>than infective endocarditis sequellae?
>Sean, curious medical student in Ireland - 
>seanfennessy at tinet.ie

Dear Sean
I saw the following posted on the Net a while ago:


Source: Newsweek magazine, 28 Apr.1997, pp.69-70 (N.American edn.)

Cardiac contagion: is a germ to blame for America's leading cause of

Geoffrey Cowley writes that recent research has strengthened the case
for Chlamydia pneumoniae being involved in some cases of
atherosclerosis.  This microbe is known as a cause of respiratory
disease and pneumonia.

C.pneumoniae antibodies were found at a higher than expected rate in
coronary-artery disease and heart-attack patients in Finland by Pakka
Saikku & Maija Leinonen, at that time of Helsinki Center Hospital, who
published their results in 1988.  They were subsequently confirmed by Dr
Thomas Grayston of the University of Washington, Seattle, USA, and
research groups in several other countries.

In 1995, Dr James Summersgill of the University of Louisville, Kentucky,
USA, isolated C.pneumoniae from the coronary arteries of a heart-
transplant patient with no history of recent respiratory illness. Animal
experiments at St Michael's Hospital in Toronto, Canada, and by the
Finnish researchers, have recently shown that infection with
C.pneumoniae can produce arterial plaques.  If the microbe can be
definitely linked to at least a proportion of human heart disease, it
would open the way for antibiotic prevention and treatment. In fact,
deaths from coronary heart disease in the USA have declined since 1980,
at the same time as the rise in the use of tetracyclin & erythromycin.
Is there a connection?

Hope this helps


Jenny Williams

More information about the Microbio mailing list

Send comments to us at biosci-help [At] net.bio.net