Infection and Alzheimer's disease: the APOE ε4 connection and lipid metabolism

Nadezda Urosevic*, Ralph N. Martins

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

48 Citations (Scopus)


Microorganisms, bacteria and viruses may infect and cause a range of acute and chronic diseases in humans dependent on the genetic background, age, sex, immune and health status of the host, as well as on the nature, virulence and dose of infectious agent. Late onset Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a progressive neurodegenerative illness of broad aetiology with a strong genetic component and a significant contribution of age, sex and life style factors. Both infectious diseases and AD are characterised by an increased production of an array of immune mediators, cytokines, chemokines and complement proteins by the host cells as well as by changes in the host lipid metabolism. In this review, we re-examine a dangerous liaison between several viral and bacterial infections and the most significant genetic factor for AD, APOE ε4, and the possible impact of this alliance on AD development. This connection was discussed in the broader context of lipid metabolism and in the light of different capacity of various infectious agents, their toxic lipophilic products and host lipoprotein particles for binding to cell receptor(s).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)421-435
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Alzheimer's Disease
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2008


  • Apolipoprotein E4
  • Chlamydia
  • Hepatitis C virus
  • Herpes Simplex virus 1
  • Human Immunodeficiency virus
  • LDL receptors
  • Lipopolysaccharide
  • Spirochetes

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