Persistent Chlamydophila pneumoniae infection in thoracic aortic aneurysm and aortic dissection?
Objectives. Chlamydophila pneumoniae (C. pneumoniae) has been associated with atherosclerosis and abdominal aortic aneurysm and is probably disseminated by peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC). Viable and metabolically active bacteria can be demonstrated by the presence of bacterial mRNA and on-going dissemination by the presence of bacteria in PBMC. The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of C. pneumoniae DNA and mRNA in aortic biopsies and C. pneumoniae DNA in PBMC in thoracic aortic aneurysm and aortic dissection patients.
Design. Real-time PCR was used to detect C. pneumoniae DNA and mRNA in biopsies and C. pneumoniae DNA in PBMC.
Results. C. pneumoniae DNA was found in biopsies in 26% (6/23) of aneurysm patients and 11% (2/18) of dissection patients but in none of the forensic autopsy controls. C. pneumoniae mRNA was not found in any biopsy, and all PBMC were C. pneumoniae-negative.
Conclusions. Presence of C. pneumoniae DNA but not mRNA in aortic biopsies and no evidence of C. pneumoniae in PBMC suggest that the infection in the aorta has passed into a state of persistence.
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