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Microorganisms in the aetiology of atherosclerosis
  1. S A Morré1,
  2. W Stooker2,
  3. W K Lagrand3,
  4. A J C van den Brule1,
  5. H W M Niessen1
  1. 1Department of Pathology, University Hospital Vrije Universiteit, PO Box 7057, De Boelelaan 1117, 1007 MB Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  2. 2Department of Cardiac Surgery, University Hospital Vrije Universiteit
  3. 3Department of Cardiology, University Hospital Vrije Universiteit
  1. Dr Niessen email: jwm.niessen{at}


Recent publications have suggested that infective pathogens might play an important role in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis. This review focuses on these microorganisms in the process of atherosclerosis. The results of in vitro studies, animal studies, tissue studies, and serological studies will be summarised, followed by an overall conclusion concerning the strength of the association of the microorganism with the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis. The role of the bacteria Chlamydia pneumoniae and Helicobacter pylori, and the viruses human immunodeficiency virus, coxsackie B virus, cytomegalovirus, Epstein-Barr virus, herpes simplex virus, and measles virus will be discussed.

  • atherosclerosis
  • Chlamydia pneumoniae
  • Helicobacter pylori

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  • BMJ Publishing Group Ltd and Association of Clinical Pathologists