BACKGROUND: Increasing evidence links chronic infections, especially burden of several infections, with increased risk for cardiovascular diseases (CVD). We studied joint immune response against two major periodontal pathogens and herpes simplex virus (HSV) in relation to established risk factors of CVD. METHODS: Serum antibody levels to HSV, Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans and Porphyromonas gingivalis were determined by ELISA. The study included 1107 subjects, 734 from Finland and 373 from Russia. RESULTS: Combined antibody response to periodontal pathogens was associated inversely (OR, 95% CI) with high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol concentration (beta = 0.35; 0.20, 0.60; P < 0.001) and directly with HSV antibody quartiles: compared with the first quartile, ORs (95% CI) for quartiles 2-4 were 1.43 (0.88-2.32), 1.74 (1.07-2.82), and 1.89 (1.18-3.02), respectively (P for trend <0.001), after adjusting for age, gender, area, education, smoking, BMI, alcohol, triglycerides, and number of teeth. In linear regression analysis, the 3-pathogen antibody score (comprising antibody levels against periodontal pathogens and HSV) was inversely associated with HDL cholesterol concentration (beta = -0.067/1 mmol/l; -0.235, -0.018; P < 0.05). CONCLUSIONS: HSV infection may promote infection by periodontal pathogens. Furthermore, the infectious burden comprising HSV and periodontitis may increase the risk for CVD by clearly decreasing HDL cholesterol concentrations.
2006. Vol. 35, no 6, 1486-1494 p.