Demonstration of Chlamydia pneumoniae in atherosclerotic arteries from various vascular regions

M. Rassu*, S. Cazzavillan, M. Scagnelli, A. Peron, P. A. Bevilacqua, M. Facco, G. Bertoloni, F. M. Lauro, R. Zambello, E. Bonoldi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Citations (Scopus)


Chlamydia pneumoniae (CP) has been reported to be a pathogenic agent in the mechanism leading to atherosclerosis. The majority of available data is focused mainly on coronary artery disease whereas the distribution of CP in different areas, associated with atherosclerotic disorders, has not been completely clarified. In this study we investigated the presence of CP in atheromasic plaques from five different vascular areas (basilary artery, coronary artery, thoracic aorta, abdominal aorta, renal arteries) using nested polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and immunohistochemical staining (IHC), in order to establish the putative association of CP with atherosclerotic disease. The same atheromasic plaques were also tested for the presence of Helicobacter pylori (HP) and cytomegalovirus (CMV), other putative agents of atherosclerosis, using a nested PCR technique. Our data indicate that the presence of CP can be demonstrated in 100% of patients tested, considering globally the five areas of analysis. On the other hand the presence of HP has been demonstrated in four out of 18 patients (22.2%), and CMV only in three out of 18 (16.6%). Our results strongly suggest an association between CP and atherosclerosis and highlight the need for the detection of CP in multiple vascular areas of the same patient.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)73-79
Number of pages7
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Atherosclerotic arteries
  • Chlamydia pneumoniae
  • Helicobacter pylori
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Polymerase chain reaction


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