Potential association of Helicobacter cinaedi with atrial arrhythmias and atherosclerosis

Shahzada Khan, Tatsuya Okamoto, Koji Enomoto, Naomi Sakashita, Kohta Oyama, Shigemoto Fujii, Tomohiro Sawa, Motohiro Takeya, Hisao Ogawa, Hiroshige Yamabe, Takaaki Akaike

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25 Citations (Scopus)


Helicobacter cinaedi has been increasingly recognized as an emerging pathogen. Reports of recurrent bacteremia and isolation of H. cinaedi organisms from a patient with myopericarditis led us to postulate that H. cinaedi is associated with chronic inflammatory cardiovascular diseases such as atrial arrhythmias and atherosclerosis. To assess any association of H. cinaedi with atrial arrhythmias, a retrospective case-control study of patients attending Kumamoto University Hospital from 2005 to 2009 was performed. The arrhythmia status of these patients was determined from their electrocardiography and electrophysiological studies. Multiple logistic regression analysis was used to identify independent risk factors. In a comparison of case patients (n= 132) with control subjects (n= 137), H. cinaedi seropositivity was identified as an independent risk factor for atrial arrhythmia (odds ratio, 5.13; 95% confidence interval, 3.0-8.7; P < 0.001). There were no significant differences, however, between these two groups with respect to anti-H. pylori IgG concentrations, anti-Chlamydophila pneumoniae IgG concentrations, and other studied variables. IgG concentrations against H. cinaedi and H. pylori were inversely correlated, which suggests cross-immunity between these two bacteria. Also, to explore any association of H. cinaedi with atherosclerosis, immunohistochemical analysis of atherosclerotic aortic tissues collected post mortem from nine patients was performed. Immunohistochemistry of atherosclerotic aortic tissues from all nine patients detected H. cinaedi antigens inside CD68 + macrophages. These findings provide the first evidence, to our knowledge, of a possible association of H. cinaedi with atrial arrhythmias and atherosclerosis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)145-154
Number of pages10
JournalMicrobiology and Immunology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Mar


  • Atherosclerosis
  • Atrial arrhythmia
  • Cross-immunity
  • Helicobacter cinaedi


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