Research Highlights

Chlamydia infection in CAD patients

Subhra Priyadarshini

doi:10.1038/nindia.2007.3 Published online 30 May 2007

In a study highlighting the need for routine diagnosis of Chlamydia peumoniae, the bug known to cause persistent infections, researchers have come up with a worrisome fact — that close to 30 per cent Coronary Artery Disease (CAD) patients studied could have the bacterial infection1. A significant presence of C. pneumoniae was detected in heavy smokers, non-alcoholics and with family histories of diabetes and blood pressure among the CAD patients. The findings corroborate global reports that males are more prone to CAD as well as to C. pneumoniae infection.

"Since routine diagnosis of C. pneumoniae in India is yet not in practice, there is need for developing indigenous, sensitive nucleic acid based methods for greater accuracy," says Aruna Mittal, a co-author of the study carried out in a New Delhi based cardiology OPD. Further studies are needed to determine the clinical and prognostic implications of such findings, she says.

CAD is a major cause of morbidity and mortality in humans and is predicted to be the leading cause of death in the world. Indians are at the highest risk of CAD with its prevalence up to 11%. Nucleic acid amplification tests have emerged as important methods for detection of this pathogen, commonly spread through coughs and sneezes, causing a flu-like respiratory condition that sometimes progresses to pneumonia.


References

  1. Jha, H. C. et al. Higher incidence of persistent chronic infection of Chlamydia pneumoniae among coronary artery disease patients in India is a cause of concern. BMC Infect. Dis. doi: 10.1186/1471-2334-7-48 (2007).