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Acta Ophthalmol Scand. 2006 Jun;84(3):333-7.

Chlamydia pneumoniae is not detectable in subretinal neovascular membranes in the exudative stage of age-related macular degeneration.

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Department of Opthalmology, University of Giessen, Giessen, Germany.



Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the most frequent cause of severe visual impairment in western countries, but its aetiology remains unclear. A growing body of evidence suggests that inflammation contributes to the pathogenesis of AMD, similarly to that shown for atherosclerosis. In view of a number of shared risk factors between the two entities and the hypothesized link between Chlamydia pneumoniae infection and atherosclerosis, we investigated whether C. pneumoniae might be involved in exudative AMD.


To examine whether C. pneumoniae contributes to the development of subretinal neovascular (SRNV) membranes in AMD, 13 consecutive SRNV membranes surgically excised from patients with exudative AMD were collected and assayed for the presence of C. pneumoniae or other bacterial pathogens by means of polymerase chain reaction (PCR).


The age of patients ranged from 68 to 85 years (median 73.5 years). In all 13 SRNV membranes, no DNA of either C. pneumoniae or other pathogens was found by PCR.


These findings indicate that C. pneumoniae is not associated with the development of SRNV membranes in exudative AMD.

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