Cytomegalovirus in plasma of acute coronary syndrome patients

E. A. Nikitskaya, Jean-Charles B. Grivel, E. V. Maryukhnich, A. M. Lebedeva, O. I. Ivanova, P. P. Savvinova, A. V. Shpektor, L. B. Margolis, E. Yu Vasilieva

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The relationship between acute coronary syndrome (ACS) and local and systemic inflammation, including accumulation of macrophages in atherosclerotic plaques and upregulation of blood cytokines (e.g., C-reactive protein (CRP)), has been known for more than 100 years. The atherosclerosis-associated inflammatory response has been traditionally considered as an immune system reaction to low-density lipoproteins. At the same time, some data have indicated a potential involvement of cytomegalovirus (CMV) in the activation and progression of atherosclerosis-associated inflammation, leading to ACS. However, these data have been tangential and mainly concerned the relationship between a coronary artery disease (CAD) prognosis and the anti-CMV antibody titer. We assumed that ACS might be associated with CMV reactivation and virus release into the bloodstream. The study's aim was to test this assumption through a comparison of the plasma CMV DNA level in patients with various CAD forms and in healthy subjects. To our knowledge, no similar research has been undertaken yet. A total of 150 subjects (97 CAD patients and 53 healthy subjects) were examined. Real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) was used to determine the number of plasma CMV DNA copies. We demonstrated that the number of plasma CMV genome copies in ACS patients was significantly higher than that in healthy subjects (p = 0.01). The CMV genome copy number was correlated with the plasma CRP level (p = 0.002). These findings indicate a potential relationship between CMV activation and atherosclerosis exacerbation that, in turn, leads to the development of unstable angina and acute myocardial infarction. Monitoring of the CMV plasma level in CAD patients may be helpful in the development of new therapeutic approaches to coronary atherosclerosis treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)102-107
Number of pages6
JournalActa Naturae
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2016



  • Acute coronary syndrome
  • Coronary artery disease
  • Cytomegalovirus
  • Human herpes viruses
  • Polymerase chain reaction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology

Cite this

Nikitskaya, E. A., Grivel, J-C. B., Maryukhnich, E. V., Lebedeva, A. M., Ivanova, O. I., Savvinova, P. P., Shpektor, A. V., Margolis, L. B., & Vasilieva, E. Y. (2016). Cytomegalovirus in plasma of acute coronary syndrome patients. Acta Naturae, 8(2), 102-107.