Cardiovascular Disease

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Cardiovascular Disease

Much ado about a small poll

Summary of our Cpni Treatment Poll:

The poll was out for two weeks, and represents a snapshot of protocol users at this point in time. We had slightly different numbers participating in each section of the poll, perhaps some questions did not have exclusive answers for those voters. Obviously, 25-28 people is not enough to draw scientifically valid results from, but I intend to speculate on some suggestive patterns in the data.

Gender:
Female: 61% (17 votes)
Male: 39% (11 votes)
Total votes: 28
This ratio is commonly reported in CFSi/FM, MSi and other "autoimmune" diseasesi, so is not surprising. We would expect that if more people with Cardiac diseases were searching out Cpn treatment, with a higher male to female ratio, this might change.

Age:
20-29 years = 7% (2 votes)
30-39 years = 14% (4 votes)
40-49 = 32% (9 votes)
50-59 years = 39% (11 votes)
60-69 years = 7% (2 votes)
Total votes: 28
Our largest group is between ages 40 to 59. I suspect that this age does not reflect the period when people are morel likely to be infected, but rather a range where long term persistent infectionsi are have accumulated enough damage to force us to seek out "desperate measures" such as the multi-antibiotic protocol recorded here.

Primary diagnosis:
Over half the total in the poll have a diagnosis of MS. The second largest group are those with a diagnosis of CFS/FMSi. This likely influences the treatment response reported later which suggest that improvements are noticed most after 5 or more pulses.
CFS/FM = 28% (8 votes)
MS = 55% (16 votes)
Asthmai = 3% (1 vote)
Cardiac disease = 3% (1 vote)
OTHER = 10% (3 votes)
Total votes: 29

Serologyi<
Positive blood test for Cpn
48% (12 votes)
Negative blood test for Cpn
16% (4 votes)
Not been tested for Cpn
36% (9 votes)
Total votes: 25
Well over half either have negative or no serologyi for Cpn, suggesting that they are engaging in a completely empirical (based on symptoms or theoretical connection between disease and Cpn) protocol.

Antibioticsi<
I take AT LEAST TWO of: doxycycline/azithromycin/roxithromycin/rifamcini/minocycline/INHi-: 73% (19 votes)
Single antibiotic only: 20% (5 votes)
I take only INH: 8% (2 votes)
Total votes: 26
This poll speaks for itself. 73% are already on the dual antibiotics, a small number appear to be early in treatment, confirmed by findings below that 40% have not yet done a pulse of bacteriacidal,  and have only added one agent. As INH is used as a single agent with the flagyl pulses in some versions of the Cpn protocol and, together with NACi for the EBi phase I have reported it separately.

Bacteriacidal Agent Used-
I take metronidazolei (Flagyl) for bacteriacidal pulses
81% (13 votes)
I take tinidazole (Tinactini) for bacteriacidal pulses
19% (3 votes)
Total votes: 16

Pulses of bacteriacidal
I've done NO pulses yet of metronidazole/tinidazole
40% (10 votes)
I've done some partial pulses of metronidazole/tinidazole
4% (1 vote)
I have had LESS than 5 full pulses (at least 5 days each) of metronidazole/tinidazole
24% (6 votes)
I have had MORE than 5 full pulses (at least 5 days each) of metronidazole/tinidazole
32% (8 votes)
Total votes: 25
Over half in this small pole have done at least a full pulse of bacteriacidal agent, with only 8 people reporting 5 full pulses or more. This shows that we are still, as a group, in earlier phases of treatment. As the results below suggest, more significant improvement starts to accrue beyond 5 pulses of the bacteriacidal.

Response to treatment-

1. On 1 0r 2 antibiotics ONLY My primary condition is the SAME or WORSE
13% (3 votes)
2. On 1 0r 2 antibiotics ONLY My primary condition is SOMEWHAT improved
13% (3 votes)
3. On 1 0r 2 antibiotics ONLY My primary condition is SIGNIFICANTLY improved
13% (3 votes)
4. Less than 5 full pulses: My primary condition is the SAME or WORSE
13% (3 votes)
5. Less than 5 full pulses: My primary condition SOMEWHAT improved
9% (2 votes)
6. Less than 5 full pulses: My primary condition SIGNIFICANTLY improved
4% (1 vote)
7. MORE than 5 full pulses: My primary condition is the SAME or WORSE
0% (0 votes)
8. MORE than 5 full pulses: My primary condition SOMEWHAT improved
13% (3 votes)
9. MORE than 5 full pulses: My primary condition SIGNIFICANTLY improved
22% (5 votes)
Total votes: 23

These results are more obvious when grouped.
If we collect together everyone in early phase of treatment (#1-6) and we see that 26% are the SAME or WORSE
28% are SOMEWHAT IMPROVED
17% are SIGNIFICANTLY IMPROVED
Actually, to have 35% already reporting any improvement in their condition this early in the protocol is striking to me. I expected less noticeable improvement at this stage, especially given the numbers being treated for otherwise "intractable" diagnoses such as MS and CFS/FM.

But it is when users of the protocol get to 5 pulses (#7-9) or more, in this small sample, that the number in SIGNIFICANTLY IMPROVED seems to begin to creep upwards. Perhaps when we get a better sample of longer term users we will be able to sort out the "magic number" of pulses where more significant improvements take place. From reports in blogs and forums on this site, somewhere around 7-9 pulses seems to be a period where people are feeling much better and more significant changes in their primary diagnosis are occurring.

Abdominal Aortic Aneurism

This didn't seem to be in our list of diseasesi, but Dianna, my new, tireless googler of all things chlamydial, found it: http://www.smokershistory.com/cpaaa.htm< They may have an ax to grind, but the number of papers cited seems pretty convincing.

When I link that information with David's http://www.davidwheldon.co.uk/chl_vasc.html< (he mentions aneurism), where he describes the wide pulse pressure that develops with C.Pn., and with Peckerman's tilt-table results that show CFSi is characterised by diastolic dystrophy, it sounds even more likely.

I know (but can't remember from where) that AAA's are most likely to occur at a point about one-half wavelength above the bifurcation of the aorta (where it splits to form the femoral arteries.) That's where the "echo" bouncing back from the split meets and reinforces the pulse coming down from the heart. It seems plausible that the stiffened aorta would make a sharper pulse and echo, and also can't "soak up" the shock wave at that point the way it should.

Does anyone get well?

I'm new to the group, and hopeful, but so far all of the posts I've seen are from people who are still in treatment, and they are generally having a hard time. It would mean a lot to me to hear from at least a couple of people who got well. Russ http://www.potbellysyndrome.coms<

Chlamydia pneumoniae Alters Mildly Oxidized Low-Density Lipoprotein-Induced Cell Death in Human Endothelial Cells, Leading to Ne

J Infect Dis. 2006 Jan 1;193(1):136-45. Epub 2005 Nov 29. Links

Chlamydia pneumoniae Alters Mildly Oxidized Low-Density Lipoprotein-Induced Cell Death in Human Endothelial Cells, Leading to Necrosisi Rather Than Apoptosis.

Nazzal D, Cantero AV, Therville N, Segui B, Negre-Salvayre A, Thomsen M, Benoist H.

INSERM U466, Institut Louis Bugnard, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Rangueil and Universite Paul Sabatier, Toulouse, France.

Background. Atherosclerosis is characterized by oxidative stress that induces lipid and protein oxidation in the vascular wall. Oxidized low-density lipoproteins (oxLDLs) are present in lesions, and one of their actions is to induce apoptosis or necrosis in vascular cells. A role for Chlamydia pneumoniae in atherosclerosis has been proposed, but the mechanisms involved remain largely unknown.Methods. The in vitro effect of C. pneumoniae infection on apoptosis induced by mildly oxidized LDLs (moxLDLs) in human endothelial cells was studied.Results. Infection inhibited apoptosis, as was demonstrated by a decrease in such apoptotic features as cytochrome c release, caspase activity, 89-kilodalton poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) fragment formation, nuclear condensation and fragmentation, and DNA fragmentation. However, the inhibition of apoptosis did not favor cell survival, because infection promoted cell deathi with necrotic features, as was illustrated by an increase in lactate dehydrogenase release, an enhancement of necrotic cellular morphologicali characteristics, and generation of low-molecular-mass PARP fragments. The increase in occurrence of necrosis-like cell death was correlated with a strong increase in intracellulari reactive oxygen species (ROSi) concentration. Vitamin E inhibited ROS production and promoted cell survival, underscoring the involvement of ROS in cell death induced by the combination of C. pneumoniae and moxLDLs.Conclusion. C. pneumoniae infection enhances the inflammatory action of oxLDLs in the vascular wall, leading to cell necrosis rather than apoptosis.

Article

There is a new indepth article which is extremely well referenced. IT is an overveiw of the current understanding of the role of CPn in atherosclerosis. their conclusion quoted here:
The idea that infections contribute to atherosclerotic plaque development and CVD is not a new concept, but it is one that is extremely difficult to prove categorically. As with other multifactorial, chronic disease processes, the situation is immensely complicated, and probably no single experiment will prove or disprove the hypothesis. A large body of associative and correlative evidence exists for the involvement of C. pneumoniae infection in some aspects of the acceleration of CVD. This accumulation of evidence is perhaps the best answer that can be found at this time. The involvement of an infectious agent in the progression of a disease rather than the initiation aetiology represents a subtle shift in the infectious disease paradigm but is probably an accurate assessment of the role of C. pneumoniae in CVD. Clearly, well-defined studies on bacterial pathogenesis will add to this body of evidence in important ways. The identification and implementation of immunological or therapeutic strategies that result in eradication of the organism in both respiratory and cardiovascular sites may be the only way to answer the question irrefutably.

David Wheldon's story: Cpn Treatment of Cardiac & Myalgic symptoms

I was born in 1950; I’ve always been very active. As an adolescent I had recurrent and painful sinusitis; this vanished in my late teens. Amongst my activities I listed caving (spelaeology) which requires some physical fitness. I continued cave exploration until well into my forties.

In 1999 my wife, Sarah, and I both caught a respiratory infection which started off as a sore throat; in a fortnight it had become a mild pneumonia. Sarah developed frank asthmai which required a Salbutamol inhaler. I also had a wheeziness, particularly on exertion. This eventually cleared. I also suffered with sinusitis again. I didn’t seek medical advice.

A few months later I began to find turning my head not only painful but difficult. As I cycle to work this grew to be problematic. I found that if I wished to turn right (UK) I had to dismount and walk across the road. At about this time I noticed that I was developing soft-tissue swellings in my neck; these began to grow quite quickly. Shortly after this I found I had myalgia in my shoulders and the long muscles of my back. Sarah noticed that I was walking very awkwardly; if I wished to turn my head I had to turn all my body. Flexion of the spine was difficult, too.

In 2002 I noticed that my resting heart-rate had increased, and there were increasing numbers of dropped beats. These were quite alarming in the dead of night. Sarah noted that my apex beat was really hard and actually audible at night. I was worried by this time, but was more concerned with Sarah’s aggressively advancing MSi, which was much more troubling.

By 2003 All my symptoms increased in intensity; they now included constant pleuritic pain (a sharp pain in the side when breathing) on the right. Also there was an exquisitely painful longitudinal white streak along the nail of my left forefinger. I began to feel vertigo when moving suddenly: it was as though I were standing on either side of a small see-saw. My blood pressure was 150/95. I had my blood tested for Chlamydia pneumoniae antibodies; the IF titres were 1:128. This level is seen in many asymptomatic people. Low titres mean little; they certainly don’t exclude the infection. Borrelia antibodies (Western Blot) were negative.

I began a course of empirical antichlamydial treatment; it was very similar to Sarah’s, namely doxycycline 200mg daily and roxithromycin 300mg daily. (it doesn’t matter whether you take all the daily dose at once with these.) That night I felt sweaty and ill; this feeling carried on for five days; it was worse in the evenings, and was accompanied by an odd state of mind.  All kinds of visions went through my mind, and Sarah says that I was babbling, changing the subject almost in mid-sentence. But this subsided. After three months I began a short course of metronidazolei in addition to doxycycline and roxithromycin. Towards the end of this course I had a rather ominous feeling that something was about to happen. Three weeks later I began another five-day course of metronidazole. On the fourth day I began to feel pain in the muscles of the back of the neck and in the soft tissue swellings to the side of my neck. That evening I began to sweat profusely, and had very strong muscle fasciculationsi over my torso. These continued for a week or so after stopping the metronidazole; again they reached their peak in the evening, so I was able to work during the day. (Evening fevers seem quite common with resolving intracellulari infectionsi.) They were followed by crushing pains in both upper limbs, which I take to be a mild form of Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy. Fortunately these eased within weeks. My weight dropped from 95 to 81 Kilos within a few weeks. Within three months the neck swellings had almost subsided. Reactions to the third pulse of metronidazole were slight. Reactions to the fourth, fifth and sixth were negligible. My blood pressure dropped to a typical morning BP of 115/75; the apex beat became actually quite difficult to feel, and my pulse became very soft and even. All the ectopics had gone.

Now I am on intermittent antibioticsi and supplementation; this includes N-acetyl cysteine 600mg twice daily for the purpose of bursting any chlamydial elementary bodies which remain. I still have a little trouble with vertigo and ringing in the ears, but not enough to stop me riding my bicycle. I’m pain-free and supple, and have full movement of my spine and head. There is an impression of ongoing soft-tissue remodelling.

Sarah and I had a similar respiratory infection; she developed frank asthma, and I an intermittent wheeziness. So though I have no hard evidence that we both had an infection with Chl. pneumoniae it seems clinically likely. No other known pathogen causes a respiratory infection after the pattern described. Often this is a clinical diagnosis. We have to accept that, on an individual basis, present-day laboratory tests may have little diagnostic value.

I managed to work full-time during this illness, coming home to cook for us both. We kept our household together. Some of our social friends were alarmed and lost touch, but, well, I don’t suppose they were really friends.

Sarah’s recovery from secondary progressive MS (where recovery is not a part of the natural history of the disease) is recounted elsewhere on this site.

Heat-shock protein 60-reactive CD4+CD28null T cells in patients with acute coronary syndromes

Circulation. 2004 Mar 16;109(10):1230-5. Epub 2004 Mar 1. Related Articles, Links

Heat-shock protein 60-reactive CD4+CD28null T cells in patients with acute coronary syndromes.

Zal B, Kaski JC, Arno G, Akiyu JP, Xu Q, Cole D, Whelan M, Russell N, Madrigal JA, Dodi IA, Baboonian C.

Cardiological Sciences, St George's Hospital Medical School, London, UK.

BACKGROUND: CD4+CD28null T cells are present in increased numbers in the peripheral blood of patients with acute coronary syndrome (ACS) compared with patients with chronic stable angina (CSA). The triggers of activation and expansion of these cells to date remain unclear. METHODS AND RESULTS: Twenty-one patients with ACS and 12 CSA patients with angiographically confirmed coronary artery disease and 9 healthy volunteers were investigated. Peripheral blood leukocytes were stimulated with human cytomegalovirus (HCMV), Chlamydia pneumoniae, human heat-shock protein 60 (hHSP60), or oxidized LDL (ox-LDL). CD4+CD28null cells were separated by flow cytometry and assessed for antigen recognition using upregulation of interferon-gamma and perforin mRNA transcription as criteria for activation. CD4+CD28null cells from 12 of 21 patients with ACS reacted with hHSP60. No response was detected to HCMV, C pneumoniae, or ox-LDL. Incubation of the cells with anti-MHC class II and anti-CD4 antibodies but not anti-class I antibodies blocked antigen presentation, confirming recognition of the hHSP60 to be via the MHC class II pathway. Patients with CSA had low numbers of CD4+CD28null cells. These cells were nonreactive to any of the antigens used. Circulating CD4+CD28null cells were present in 5 of the 9 healthy controls. None reacted with hHSP60. CONCLUSIONS: We have shown that hHSP60 is an antigen recognized by CD4+CD28null T cells of ACS patients. Endothelial cells express hHSP60 either constitutively or under stress conditions. Circulating hHSP60-specific CD4+CD28null cells may, along other inflammatory mechanisms, contribute to vascular damage in these patients.

Effect of chronic Chlamydia infection with non-specific inflammation on cardiovascular complications in acute myocardial infarct

Vnitr Lek. 2003 Feb;49(2):109-14. Related Articles, Links

Comment in:
Vnitr Lek. 2003 Feb;49(2):91.

[Effect of chronic Chlamydia infection with non-specific inflammation on cardiovascular complications in acute myocardial infarct]

[Article in Slovak]

Jaber AJ, Murin J, Hricak V, Tomasovic B, Kinova S, Kozlikova K, Ghanem W, Radman A.

I. interna klinika Lekarskej fakulty UK a FN, Bratislava, Slovenska republika.

It is known that local and systemic inflammatory processes play an important role in the genesis and development of atheroclerotic lesions and in the pathophysiology of acute coronary syndromes. This hypothesis is supported by findings of elevated parameters of the "inflammatory" reaction in the affected blood vessels but also in the blood of atherosclerotic patients. Known risk factors do not explain quite satisfactorily epidemiological cardiovascular phenomena and different manifestations of coronary heart disease. It is very probable that also Chlamydia pneumoniae is a risk factor. This assumption is based on evaluation of seroepidemiological data, examination of atherosclerotic plaques not only in humans but also in animal models with chlamydial infection. Based on retrospective and prospective evaluation of case-records the authors analyzed the incidence of cardiovascular complications in 83 patients with acute myocardial infarction (AIM), incl. 51 patients (31 men and 20 women, mean age 64.4 +/- 3.4 years who had a non-specific inflammation and chlamydial infection, and 32 patients (24 men and 8 women, mean age 64.7 +/- 3.6 years) who had chlamydial infections but no non-specific inflammation (in the blood). These patients were selected from all patients hospitalized during 1998-2001. When diagnosing acute myocardial infarction we applied WHO criteria, and the presence of at least two of three criteria was necessary: a history of prolonged (more than 20 min). stenocardia, electrocardiographic changes typical for ischaemia and/or necrosis and elevation of myocardial enzymes in serum, Non-specific inflammatory activity was present in patients (i.e. positive) if the following laboratory parameters were recorded: C-reactive protein > 5 mg/l assessed by the radial immunodiffusion method; fibrinogen > 4 mg/l assessed by the coagulation method according to Claus; leukocytes > 9.6 x 10(3)/microliter, leukocytes were counted automatically in a Coulter chamber; lymphocytes > 3.4 x 10(3)/microliter. Red cell sedimentation rate > 20 mm/hour. The activity was evaluated as positive when all parameters were elevated. The presence of chronic infection with Chlamydia pneumoniae was assessed qualitatively by antibody positivity (IgG) in serum using the microimmunoflurescent method (using a set from Labsystems Co.). The incidence of associated risk factors (obesity, smoking, diabetes, hyperlipidaemia and hypertension) is higher in the sub-group of patients with Chlamydia infections without inflammation, however, the difference is not statistically significant. The incidence of cardiovascular attacks was higher in the sub-group of patients with chlamydial infection and concurrent inflammation as compared with the sub-group of patients with chlamydial infection without inflammation. In case of re-infarction of the myocardium, a sudden cerebrovascular attack, death and arrhythmia the difference was statistically significant, while in case of cardiac failure and cardiogenic shock the difference was not significant. Patients with acute myocardial infarction with chlamydial infection and a concurrent non-specific inflammation had to be treated more often by combined (i.e. more intense) treatment, thrombolytic treatment, PTCA and surgery (bypass) of the coronary vessels as compared with patients with Chlamydia infections but without inflammation. The authors assume therefore that not only different risk factors but also the effect of non-specific inflammation and Chlamydia infection contribute towards the increased number of cardiovascular postinfarction complications. Therefore a therapeutic approach involving eradication of infection and suppression of the inflammatory reaction should be considered.

Azithromycin for the secondary prevention of coronary events.

N Engl J Med. 2005 Apr 21;352(16):1637-45. Related Articles, Links

Comment in:
N Engl J Med. 2005 Apr 21;352(16):1706-9.
N Engl J Med. 2005 Aug 4;353(5):525-8; author reply 525-8.
N Engl J Med. 2005 Aug 4;353(5):525-8; author reply 525-8.
N Engl J Med. 2005 Aug 4;353(5):525-8; author reply 525-8.

Azithromycin for the secondary prevention of coronary events.

Grayston JT, Kronmal RAi, Jackson LA, Parisi AF, Muhlestein JB, Cohen JD, Rogers WJ, Crouse JR, Borrowdale SL, Schron E, Knirsch C; ACES Investigators.

Department of Epidemiology, University of Washington, Seattle 98195, USA.

BACKGROUND: Epidemiologic, laboratory, animal, and clinical studies suggest that there is an association between Chlamydia pneumoniae infection and atherogenesis. We evaluated the efficacy of one year of azithromycin treatment for the secondary prevention of coronary events. METHODS: In this randomized, prospective trial, we assigned 4012 patients with documented stable coronary artery disease to receive either 600 mg of azithromycin or placebo weekly for one year. The participants were followed for a mean of 3.9 years at 28 clinical centers throughout the United States. RESULTS: The primary end point, a composite of death due to coronary heart disease, nonfatal myocardial infarction, coronary revascularization, or hospitalization for unstable angina, occurred in 446 of the participants who had been randomly assigned to receive azithromycin and 449 of those who had been randomly assigned to receive placebo. There was no significant risk reduction in the azithromycin group as compared with the placebo group with regard to the primary end point (risk reduction, 1 percent [95 percent confidence interval, -13 to 13 percent]). There were also no significant risk reductions with regard to any of the components of the primary end point, death from any cause, or stroke. The results did not differ when the participants were stratified according to sex, age, smoking status, presence or absence of diabetes mellitus, or C. pneumoniae serologic status at baseline. CONCLUSIONS: A one-year course of weekly azithromycin did not alter the risk of cardiac events among patients with stable coronary artery disease. Copyright 2005 Massachusetts Medical Society.

The Cardiac Research Links

CPn and Cardiovascular Issues -

Chlamydial and human heat shock protein 60 homologues in acute coronary syndromes. (Auto-)immune reactions as a link between inf

Z Kardiol. 2003 Jun;92(6):455-65.

Chlamydial and human heat shock protein 60 homologues in acute coronary syndromes. (Auto-)immune reactions as a link between infection and atherosclerosis

[Article in German]

Andrie R, Braun P, Welsch U, Straube E, Hopp HW, Erdmann E, Luderitz B, Bauriedel G.

Medizinische Klinik und Poliklinik II, Universitatsklinikum Bonn, Sigmund-Freud-Str. 25, 53105 Bonn, Germany.

Recent studies provide evidence that infectious agents play a causal role in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis. In this respect, a chronic persistent Chlamydia pneumoniae infection, indicated by the presence of chlamydial heat shock protein 60 (cHSP 60), is of central interest. Both cHSP60 and endogenous human (h) HSP60 are upregulated under stress conditions in intimal cells and serve as a target for cross-reactive cytotoxic HSP-serum-antibodies. Therefore, the present study evaluates the expressions of both HSP60 homologues in advanced human coronary lesions and a correlation between intimal tissuebound protein and serum antibodies (Ab) to HSP65. Coronary atherectomy specimens retrieved from 114 primary target lesions of patients with acute coronary syndrome (ACS; n=46) or stable angina (SA; n=68) were assessed immunohistochemically for the presence of cHSP60 and hHSP60. Chronic persistency of Chlamydia pneumoniae was additionally examined by transmission electron microscopy. Blood samples from30 patients were tested for anti-Chlamydia pneumoniae-IgG/IgA- and anti-HSP65-Ab titers and for serum CRP levels. Coronary plaques revealed immunoreactive cHSP60 in 47% and hHSP60 in 57% of the lesions colocalized within macrophages/foam cells. Chlamydia in foam cells most often presented ultrastructural patterns that pointed to the persistency of the pathogen. Intact, non-atherosclerotic vessels showed no signals. Mean expressions were 3.1% for cHSP60 and 3.3% for hHSP60. As a central finding, the expression of both HSP homologues was significantly (each p<0.001) higher in ACS lesions compared to SA lesions (cHSP60: 6.2 vs 1.0%, and hHSP60: 7.2 vs 0.7%). Moreover, we found positive correlations between both determinants in ACS and SA lesions (r=0.41, r=0.37; p<0.01). Most interestingly, cHSP60 revealed no relationship with anti-Chlamydia pneumoniae-IgG/IgA titers, whereas expression of cHSP60 as well as that of hHSP60 correlated with anti-HSP65-Ab titers (r=0.50, p<0.01, and r=0.42, p<0.05, respectively).cHSP60 and hHSP60 colocalize within coronary primary atheroma, most prevalent in lesions associated with ACS. For the first time, our data demonstrate a significant correlation between the intimal expression of these HSP60 homologues and serum HSP65 antibodies, thereby suggesting that humoral immune reactions to bacterial and human HSPs may play an important role in coronary atherosclerosis and plaque instability.

Synergistic effect of persistent Chlamydia pneumoniae infection, autoimmunity, and inflammation on coronary risk

Circulation. 2003 May 27;107(20):2566-70. Epub 2003 May 12. Related Articles, Links

Synergistic effect of persistent Chlamydia pneumoniae infection, autoimmunity, and inflammation on coronary risk.

Huittinen T, Leinonen M, Tenkanen L, Virkkunen H, Manttari M, Palosuo T, Manninen V, Saikku P.

National Public Health Institute, Aapistie 1, PO box 310, FIN-90101 Oulu, Finland. tiina.huittinen@ktl.fi

BACKGROUND: Given the role of chronic infections, autoimmunity, and inflammation in atherosclerosis, we studied the joint effect of chronic Chlamydia pneumoniae infection, persistently elevated human heat-shock protein 60 (hHsp60) antibodies, and C-reactive protein (CRP) on coronary risk. METHODS AND RESULTS: The participants for this prospective nested case-control study were obtained from the Helsinki Heart Study, during which 241 nonfatal myocardial infarctions or coronary deaths occurred among 4081 dyslipidemic middle-aged men. Serum samples taken at baseline and 3 to 6 months before the coronary events that occurred during the 8.5-year period were analyzed for antibodies to C pneumoniae and hHsp60 and the CRP concentration. Compared with persistently low levels, the risk of coronary events was 2-fold for persistently elevated immunocomplex (IC)-bound and/or serum IgA antibodies to C pneumoniae (OR, 1.96; 95% CI, 1.14 to 3.36) and also for serum IgA antibodies to hHsp60 (OR, 2.11; 95% CI, 1.08 to 4.13). The risks associated with elevated antibodies were much higher when CRP was also elevated. Compared with low or transiently elevated levels, the risk of coronary events, with adjustment for age and smoking, was 4.5-fold for persistently elevated CRP and C pneumoniae IC/IgA antibodies together (OR, 4.47; 95% CI, 1.84 to 10.83) and was similar for CRP and hHsp60 IgA antibodies together (OR, 4.36; 95% CI, 1.53 to 12.39). CONCLUSIONS: Persistently but not transiently elevated C pneumoniae IC/IgA and hHsp60 IgA antibodies, especially when present together with an elevated CRP level, predicted coronary events.

Elevated antibody levels against Chlamydia pneumoniae, human HSP60 and mycobacterial HSP65 are independent risk factors in myoca

Atherosclerosis. 2004 Apr;173(2):339-46. Related Articles, Links

Elevated antibody levels against Chlamydia pneumoniae, human HSP60 and mycobacterial HSP65 are independent risk factors in myocardial infarction and ischaemic heart disease.

Heltai K, Kis Z, Burian K, Endresz V, Veres A, Ludwig E, Gonczol E, Valyi-Nagy I.

Department of Cardiology, Railway Hospital, Budapest, Hungary.

The relative significance of traditional risk factors, chronic infections and autoimmune processes in the development of acute myocardial infarction (AMI) has not been fully elucidated. We compared serum IgG antibody titres to various pathogens, i.e. Chlamydia pneumoniae (Cpni), cytomegalovirus (CMV) and herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSVi-1), and to the potential autoantigens human heat shock protein 60 (hHSP60) and mycobacterial heat shock protein 65 (mHSP65), in serum samples obtained from patients 3-48 h after AMI (n = 40) or stable effort angina (SEA, n = 43), and from controls (n = 46). The strongest association was observed between AMI and the elevated level of hHSP60 antibodies. The association between AMI and the level of Cpn antibodies was also significant. High levels of hHSP60 and Cpn antibodies represented independent risk factors for the development of AMI, but the simultaneous presence of high levels of antibodies to Cpn and hHSP60 suggested a joint effect on the relative risk of AMI (OR = 12.0-21.1). The antibody titres to mHSP65 were higher in the SEA group than in the controls, and the simultaneous presence of high levels of Cpn and mHSP65 antibodies meant an increased risk among the SEA patients. The antibody titres to CMV or HSV-1 were similar in the three groups. In conclusion, these results demonstrate associations of AMI with high levels of anti-hHSP60 and anti-Cpn antibodies, and of SEA with the level of anti-mHSP65 antibodies, these being independent risk factors.

Chronic CPn infection is associated with a serum lipid profile known to be a risk factor for atherosclerosis

Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 1997 Nov;17(11):2910-3. Related Articles, Links

Chronic Chlamydia pneumoniae infection is associated with a serum lipid profile known to be a risk factor for atherosclerosis.

Laurila A, Bloigu A, Nayha S, Hassi J, Leinonen M, Saikku P.

National Public Health Institute, Oulu, Finland.

Chlamydia pneumoniae infection has been associated with coronary heart disease. To evaluate the mechanisms of this association, we studied whether chronic C. pneumoniae infection affects serum lipid values similarly to acute infections. Triglyceride, total and HDL cholesterol concentrations, and C. pneumoniae antibodies were measured from paired serum samples of 415 Finnish males taken 3 years apart. Chronic infection, defined as persistent IgG and IgA antibodies, was found in 20%, and the antibodies were negative (IgG < 32 and IgA < 16 in both samples) in 15% of the cases studied. The serum triglyceride and total cholesterol concentrations were higher in the subjects with a chronic C. pneumoniae infection than in the subjects with no antibodies (1.23 versus 1.03 mmol/L and 6.41 versus 6.31 mmol/L, respectively). The HDL cholesterol concentrations and the ratios of HDL cholesterol to total cholesterol were significantly decreased in the subjects with chronic infection (1.24 versus 1.36 mmol/L, P = .026; and 0.19 versus 0.22, P = .018, respectively). Chronic C. pneumoniae infection seems to be associated with a serum lipid profile considered to increase the risk of atherosclerosis. This finding supports the hypothesis that infections play a role in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis.

Serological evidence of CPn LPS antibodies in atherosclerosis of various vascular regions

Vasa. 1999 Nov;28(4):259-63. Related Articles, Links

Serological evidence of Chlamydia pneumoniae lipopolysaccharidei antibodies in atherosclerosis of various vascular regions.

Korner I, Blatz R, Wittig I, Pfeiffer D, Ruhlmann C.

Department of Cardiology/Angiology, University of Leipzig, Germany. koei@medizin.uni-leipzig.de

BACKGROUND: The role of Chlamydia pneumoniae in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis has so far mainly been investigated in patients suffering from coronary heart disease; the other vascular regions have virtually been ignored. The aim of this study was to carry out a statistical survey of serological markers of a C. pneumoniae infection in patients with different patterns of atherosclerosis manifestation. PATIENTS AND METHODS: 340 patients were examined for the atherosclerotic alteration of peripheral arteries of the lower limbs, carotid arteries and coronary arteries by ultrasound scan and/or angiography. Immunoglobulin(Ig)G and IgA-rELISA were used to measure chlamydial lipopolysaccharide antibodies. Species determination was performed using the IgG micro-immunofluorescence test. RESULTS: 24.0% of atherosclerotic cases (A) and 52.3% of controls (C) were negative for C. pneumoniae lipopolysaccharide antibodies (p = 0.00002). By contrast, 45.1% of atherosclerotic cases and 16.9% of controls were positive for both IgG and IgA (p = 0.00002). The mean antibody titers of the atherosclerosis group were higher than in the control group (IgG positive xAIgG = 344, xCIgG = 272; IgG and IgA positive xAIgG = 576, xCIgG = 486 and xAIgA = 120, xCIgA = 91). Concerning atherosclerosis manifestation in various vascular regions, no significant differences were found between IgG and IgA antibody titers and prevalence. CONCLUSIONS: The results show that a persistent C, pneumoniae infection with evidence of lipopolysaccharide immunoglobulin G and A is equally associated with the atherosclerotic alteration of coronary arteries, carotid arteries and peripheral arterial occlusive disease, irrespective of the severity of atherosclerosis and with no predisposition to any particular vascular region.

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