The immune response against Cytomegalovirus (CMV) and Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)-induced antigens has been determined in teh sera of 36 patients with angiographically assessed atherosclerosis and compared with that of 36 matched control subjects. Significantly higher titres of antibody against CMV and EBV - induced antigens and a significant increase in CMV- and EBV- reactivated infections were found in atherosclerotic patients as compared to control subjects. Moreover serological signs of concomitant EBV and CMV infections occurred more frequently in atherosclerotic patients than in controls. One atherosclerotic patient, however, completely lacked antibody to CMV while CMV- and EBV- reactivated infections were also noted in control subjects, probably connected with their old age. Our data suggest that multiple reactivations of latent viruses may represent a consequence rather than a causal factor of atherosclerosis.
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