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J Alzheimers Dis. 2015;43(3):957-66. doi: 10.3233/JAD-140621.

Bacterial infection and Alzheimer's disease: a meta-analysis.

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  • 1The Whiteley-Martin Research Centre, Discipline of Surgery, The University of Sydney, Nepean Hospital, Penrith, NSW, Australia.

Abstract

The possibility of an infectious etiology for Alzheimer's disease (AD) has been repeatedly postulated over the past three decades. We provide the first meta-analysis to address the relationship between bacterial infection and AD. Studies examining the association between AD and spirochetal bacteria or Chlamydophila pneumoniae (Cpn) were identified through a systematic search of the databases MEDLINE, EMBASE, PubMed, and Google Scholar. Data combined from 25 relevant, primarily case-control studies demonstrated a statistically significant association between AD and detectable evidence of infection of either bacterial group. We found over a ten-fold increased occurrence of AD when there is detectable evidence of spirochetal infection (OR: 10.61; 95% CI: 3.38-33.29) and over a four-fold increased occurrence of AD in a conservative risk estimate (OR: 4.45; 95% CI: 2.33-8.52). We found over a five-fold increased occurrence of AD with Cpn infection (OR: 5.66; 95% CI: 1.83-17.51). This study shows a strongly positive association between bacterial infection and AD. Further detailed investigation of the role of bacterial infection is warranted.

KEYWORDS:

Alzheimer's disease; Borrelia; Chlamydophila; Spirochaetales; Treponema; bacteria; dementia; etiology; infection; inflammation

PMID:
25182736
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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