Chlamydia pneumoniae

Sean Fennessy seanfennessy at tinet.ie
Mon Jul 21 18:36:04 EST 1997

Dear Jenny-

Thank you for your response to my query re: C. pneumoniae.  I'm going to
follow up on the references-researchers in the article you sent.  I wonder
if and when this bug will be listed as a risk factor for C.A.D., P.V.D,
and atherosclerosis.

Two background articles, perhaps dated at his point are: Treharne J D and
Ballard R C 1990. The expanding spectrum of the chlamydia -  a
microbiological and clinical appraisal.  Reviews in Medical Microbiology
1:10-18, and by the same main author, 1991, Recent developments in the
biology of the chlamydiae. Reviews in Medical Microbiology 2:45-49.

Briefly, from one of our medical school textbooks, Medical Microbiology,
by Greenwood et al., Churchill Livingstone, pg. 442, 14th ed - 1992:

"...chlamydiae pneumoniae not only causes acute resp. infxns., it also
gives rise to recurrences.  Serological surveys have shown there is a
40-50% prevalence in a number of countries.  The Ig to C.pneumoniae does
not decline with age, in contrast to the findings with C. trachomatis
infxns. of the genital tract.  C. pneumoniae has not yet been shown [yet,
see your Canadian and Finnish references below] to have any other animal
host and so, unlike C. psitaccci, it presumably spreads by the respiratory
route between humans."   

Finally, I hope Newsweek was responsible and avoided any public worries by
stressing that this organism is a diffrent species than the one
responsible for the common S.T.D., chlamydia.

All the same, the interest in this microbe is very exciting.



In article <+y6AtCAKZk0zIwpq at microbes.demon.co.uk>, Jenny Williams
<Jenova at microbes.demon.co.uk> wrote:

>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

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