Printer Friendly

CMV and heart disease.

CMV and heart disease

Though cytomegalovirus (CMV) can cause flu-like symptoms in infected children and adults, this herpesvirus has prompted concern primarily through its ability to cause birth defects in a developing fetus (SN: 11/19/89, p.327). But a new report suggests another reason to worry about this often asymptomatic infection: "circumstantial" but "increasing" evidence that it can trigger atherosclerosis, a leading cause of death from heart attacks and stroke.

Spurred by evidence that herpesviruses could cause atherosclerosis in birds, Joseph L. Melnick and his colleagues at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston looked for signs of latent herpes infection in people with coronary artery disease. The team's first report, published in 1983, suggested a possible link. Now, in April 25 JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION, they review their follow-ups and other studies involving human tissues or blood, including six published in the past three years. All show a far higher rate of herpes DNA and other signs of herpesvirus infection -- especially CMV -- in people with advanced atherosclerosis than in people with little or no arterial disease. Because the researchers did not find whole viruses in the atherosclerotic tissue, they suggest "CMV may be an initiating factor" that later vanishes from sites of advanced disease.

Ultimately, they add, confirming CMV's atherogenicity might spur development of a commercial CMV vaccine.
COPYRIGHT 1990 Science Service, Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1990, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Title Annotation:cytomegalovirus
Publication:Science News
Date:May 5, 1990
Previous Article:Enzyme blocker cools inflammatory reaction.
Next Article:Manic depression's ex-X.

Related Articles
Child as father of infection.
Survival bonus for people with AIDS.
Killer-cell infusions fight viral diseases.
Herpes and heart disease: could viruses encourage coronary clogging?
Heart vessel clogs linked to p53.
AIDS-related CMV: how to help yourself.
Viral protein disables a cellular alarm.
Approved Drugs for HIV/AIDS or AIDS-related Conditions.
Potential infectious etiologies of atherosclerosis: a multifactorial perspective. (Synopses).
Active cytomegalovirus infection in patients with septic shock.

Terms of use | Copyright © 2018 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters