Background: Various studies have suggested a link between infection, atherosclerosis and coronary artery disease. We studied whether bacterial DNA is present in coronary specimens obtained from left anterior descending coronary arteries of subjects having sudden deaths of cardiovascular and other causes, as verified by an autopsy.
Materials and methods: Coronary specimens were obtained from five subjects who died of sudden coronary causes and five controls. Broad-range 16-s rDNA PCR (Br-PCR) amplification, cloning and sequencing were used to detect bacterial rDNA.
Results: Bacterial rDNA sequences of oral pathogens were detected from the coronary samples in all cases regardless of the cause of death.
Conclusions: Br-PCR is a powerful method to detect bacterial rDNA. By this method we were able to detect wide palette of oral bacteria from coronary tissues. Our findings suggest that atheromas may act as mechanical sieves collecting bacteria from the circulation.