Chlamydia pneumoniae--an infectious risk factor for atherosclerosis?

Nat Rev Microbiol. 2004 Jan;2(1):23-32. doi: 10.1038/nrmicro796.


Cardiovascular disease, of which atherosclerosis is an important component, is the leading cause of death in the western world. Although there are well-defined risk factors for atherosclerosis, these factors do not account for all incidences of the disease. Because atherosclerotic processes are typified by chronic inflammatory responses, which are similar to those that are elicited by chronic infection, the role of infection in promoting or accelerating atherosclerosis has received renewed attention. This review focuses on the accumulating evidence that chronic infection with Chlamydia pneumoniae, a ubiquitous human respiratory pathogen, might contribute to atherosclerotic lesion progression.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Arteriosclerosis / microbiology*
  • Child
  • Chlamydophila Infections / complications*
  • Chlamydophila pneumoniae / isolation & purification*
  • Chronic Disease
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Rabbits
  • Risk Factors