Human cytomegalovirus infections are associated with elevated biomarkers of vascular injury

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Jo Klein, Geospatial and Data Visualization Librarian and Assistant Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
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Abstract: Background: Human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) infects ~50% of adults in the United States. HCMV infections may cause vascular inflammation leading to cardiovascular disease, but the existing evidence is inconsistent. Objective: We investigated demographic predictors of HCMV infection and explored associations between HCMV infection status, the intensity of anti-HCMV Immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibody response, and biomarkers of inflammation and endothelial function which are known predictors of cardiovascular disease. Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional study of 694 adults residing in the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill, NC metropolitan area. Serum samples were tested for IgG antibody response to HCMV, and for biomarkers of vascular injury including soluble intercellular adhesion molecule 1 (sICAM-1), soluble vascular cell adhesion molecule 1 (sVCAM-1), C-reactive protein (CRP), and serum amyloid A (SAA). Associations between HCMV and biomarker levels were analyzed using two approaches with HCMV serostatus modeled as a binary variable and as an ordinal variable with five categories comprised of seronegative individuals and quartiles of anti-HCMV antibody responses in seropositive individuals. Results: HCMV seroprevalence in the study population was 56%. Increased body mass index, increased age, female gender, racial/ethnic minority status, and current smoking were significantly associated with HCMV seropositivity in a multivariate regression analysis. HCMV seropositivity was also associated with 9% (95% confidence interval 4–15%) and 20% (0.3–44%) increases in median levels of sICAM-1 and CRP, respectively, after adjusting for covariates. The association between HCMV seropositivity and median levels of sVCAM-1 and SAA were positive but not statistically significant. Significant positive associations were observed between the intensity of anti-HCMV IgG responses and levels of sICAM-1 and sVCAM-1 (p-values 0.0008 and 0.04 for linear trend, respectively). To our knowledge, this is the first epidemiological study to show a relationship between anti-HCMV IgG responses and vascular injury biomarkers sICAM-1 and sVCAM-1 in the general population. Conclusion: HCMV infections are associated with vascular injury and inflammation biomarkers in adult residents of North Carolina.

Additional Information

Frontiers in Cellular and Infection Microbiology. 10(334).
Language: English
Date: 2020
cardiovascular disease, cytomegalovirus—HCMV, serum amyloid A, vascular injury, biomarkers, intercellular adhesion molecular-1 (ICAM-1), C-reactive protein, vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (VCAM-1)

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