Abdominal aortic aneurysm tissue and peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) of 41 consecutive subjects undergoing abdominal aortic aneurysm surgery were analyzed by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for the presence of Chlamydia pneumoniae, Mycoplasma pneumoniae, and Helicobacter pylori DNA. Twenty patients (49%) were positive for C. pneumoniae DNA-16 (39%) in both PBMC and aneurysm tissue, 3 (7.3%) in PBMC only, and 1 (2.4%) in the artery specimen only. Previous exposure to C. pneumoniae was confirmed in 19 (95%) of the 20 PCR positive subjects by C. pneumoniae-specific serology, using the microimmunofluorescence test. None was positive for H. pylori or M. pneumoniae DNA, either in the PBMC or in the artery specimens. In conclusion, carriage of C. pneumoniae DNA is common both in PBMC and in abdominal aortic tissue from patients undergoing abdominal aneurysm surgery. Blood PCR may be a useful tool for identifying subjects carrying C. pneumoniae in the vascular wall.