Cardiovascular disease, resulting from atherosclerosis, is a leading cause of global morbidity and mortality. Genetic predisposition and classical environmental risk factors explain much of the attributable risk for cardiovascular events in populations, but other risk factors for the development and progression of atherosclerosis, which can be identified and modified, may be important therapeutic targets. Infectious agents, such as Chlamydia pneumoniae, have been proposed as contributory factors in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis. In the present review, we consider the experimental evidence that has accumulated over the last 20 years evaluating the role of C. pneumoniae in atherosclerosis and suggest areas for future research in this field.

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