Chlamydia Linked to Heart Disease, Stroke, and Alzheimer’s

Copyright 2002-2005 by KF & KM Poehlmann


Dr. Poehlmann’s ongoing Chlamydia research explores the link between this bacterial infection and heart disease, arterial plaque, asthma, Alzheimer’s disease, and shortened lifespan.


It now appears that persistent C. pneumoniae infections among humans are widespread, to an estimated 50% infection rate in the United States.


Specific animal reservoirs that may lead to human infections are not well traced to the breakouts and epidemics of the C. pneumoniae respiratory invasion in humans. Animal reservoirs of such infection cited are birds and chickens.


There are two distinct Chlamydia epidemics to contend with:

  C. trachomatis acute symptoms are clearly evident in the infected persons.  

  C. pneumoniae appears as a mild form of pneumonia followed by a long term infection that is a major factor in stroke, dementia, heart disease and arterial scleroses.


C. pneumoniae is distinctly different from C. trachomatis which is associated with sexual transmission and a different set of serious inflammatory symptoms. Genetic similarity between the two strains is only about 10%. Thus to control both diseases, two distinct vaccines need to be developed. However, a common antibiotic regimen may be effective against both Chlamydia organisms and against many other nanobacteria that cause reactive arthritis.


C. pneumoniae is susceptible to antibiotic treatment. (Refs 3, 4) Successful treatment leads to statistically significant reductions in severity and incidence of heart and circulatory problems.  The relationship between C. pneumoniae and Alzheimer’s plaques has not yet been fully investigated to determine how prophylactic antibiotics may reduce or eliminate the growth of these plaques. However, it would appear that if appropriate antibiotics are suitably administered for a long enough time, passing the blood/brain barrier, that any nanobacterial, and slowly progressing infections of brain or neural tissue can be eliminated. 


The frequently found association of reactive arthritic nanobacterial infections with prior traumatic sites of synovial and muscular tissue suggests that traumatic progressive neuropathies may also be susceptible to successful similar antibiotic treatments.  This remains to be investigated.



March 14, 2002 Sacramento Bee editorial on Chlamydia treatment, and Dr. Poehlmann’s response.


Detailed Chlamydia investigation and statistics:

See Dr Poehlmann’s article published in the Journal of Degenerative Diseases entitled

“Chlamydia Infection Linked to Atherosclerosis and Alzheimer’s Disease”


References showing Chlamydia pneumoniae linked to:

·         Heart and arterial diseases ( References 1, 3, 5)     

·        Reduction of blood flow to brain (Reference 2)

·        Antibiotic treatment (Reference 4)

·        Alzheimer’s disease (AD) (References 6, 7)



Chlamydia pneumoniae bibliography and references:

   1.Danesh J et al. Chronic infections and coronary heart disease: is there a link? Lancet


      Synopsis: The authors review 17 studies that uniformly show an association between vascular

      disease and positive C. pneumoniae serology.


   2.Ramirez JA et al. Isolation of Chlamydia pneumoniae from the coronary artery of a patient

      with coronary atherosclerosis. Ann Intern Med 1996;125:979-82.

Synopsis: Isolated C. pneumoniae microorganisms found in a patient’s coronary artery confirm reduction of blood flow to the heart and to the brain.


   3.Gupta S et al. Elevated Chlamydia pneumoniae antibodies, cardiovascular events, and

      azithromycin in male survivors of myocardial infarction. Circulation 1997;96:404-7.

      Synopsis: Patients with positive C. pneumoniae serology and coronary artery disease were

      randomized to azithromycin (3-6 days) or placebo. Treatment was associated with

      reduced cardiovascular events.


   4.Gurfinkel E et al. Randomised trial of roxithromycin in non-Q-wave coronary syndromes:

      ROXIS pilot study. Lancet 1997;350:404-7.

      Syopsis: Patients with unstable angina or non-Q-wave MIs were randomized to roxithromycin or

      placebo. There was a significant reduction in ischemic events in antibiotic recipients.


   5.Juvonen J et al. Can degenerative aortic valve stenosis be related to persistent Chlamydia

      pneumoniae infection? Ann Intern Med 1998;128:741.

      Synopsis: The authors performed immunohisto-chemistry for C. pneumoniae on aortic valves

      obtained at 46 consecutive autopsies. Fifteen of 34 normal valves (44%) and 10 of 12

      (83%) with early lesions of degenerative calcification showed evidence for C. pneumoniae

      (P=<0.02). In persons >60 years, the probability of aortic degenerative changes was

      greater if the valve showed C. pneumoniae (7/8 versus 1/7).


6.Balin B et al. Identification and localization of Chlamydia pneumoniae in Alzheimer's brain.

Med Microbiol Immunol 1998;187:23.

Synopsis: The authors examined neurotissue from patients with late onset Alzheimer's disease for

comparison with controls. The authors concluded that C. pneumoniae is present, viable and transcriptionally active in areas of neuropathology of AD brain.


7.Morgan, David. Reuters World Report, Aug 11, 1998.




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