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J Clin Virol. 2005 Jan;32(1):29-32.

Detection of herpes simplex virus, cytomegalovirus and Epstein-Barr virus DNA in atherosclerotic plaques and in unaffected bypass grafts.

Author information

1
Department of Clinical Chemistry and Microbiology, University of Damascus, Syria.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Herpes virus infections are suspected to be involved in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis.

OBJECTIVE AND METHOD:

Viral DNA of herpes simplex virus (HSV), Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) and cytomegalovirus (CMV) was analyzed by real-time PCR on 48 biopsies from atherosclerotic plaques extracted by end-arterectomy (46 coronary arteries, 2 carotid arteries), and in tissue from non-atherosclerosis vessels from the same patient as controls (23 internal mammary arteries, 43 saphenous veins).

RESULTS:

HSV-1 DNA was detected significantly more frequently in plaques (35%) than in control veins (9%, P = 0.006). However, the frequency of HSV-1 DNA detection in the internal mammary artery grafts was as high as in plaques (22%, P = 0.28). CMV and EBV DNA were exclusively found in plaques but not in controls, with 10% for CMV (P = 0.06 versus veins, P = 0.17 versus graft arteries) and 2% for EBV (P = 1.0), respectively. HSV-2 was neither detected in plaques nor in controls. Herpes viral DNA was significantly associated only with arterial hypertension but not with other classical risk factors (P = 0.02), in accordance with the hypothesis that herpes viral infection may alter the vessel wall.

CONCLUSION:

We conclude that herpes viral infections may have a role in atherosclerosis and that the presence of herpes viral DNA in the grafts used for bypass surgery might constitute a potential risk for atherosclerosis or restenosis.

PMID:
15572003
DOI:
10.1016/j.jcv.2004.06.010
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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