In our article, we concluded that in patients with hypertension, the presence of antibodies to C pneumoniae was significantly associated with atherosclerosis and renovascular disease. We agree with Drs Gabrielli, Santarelli, and Gasbarrini that the serologic findings for C pneumoniae do not distinguish between a previous or latent infection and a new or persistent infection.
However, the authors also state that specific IgG antibodies in circulating immunocomplexes are a more sensitive marker of a real infection, and this hypothesis is not supported by the literature they cite. The study by Wimmer et al1 merely demonstrates the association of this parameter with an increased risk of cerebrovascular disease, and C pneumoniae was not cultured, nor was its presence detected by means of any immunohistochemical or molecular technique. So, a real or persistent infection was not demonstrated.
van der Ven A, Bruggeman C, Tervaert JWC. Chlamydia pneumoniae Infection: Which Role in Atherosclerosis?—Reply. Arch Intern Med. 2002;162(18):2140–2141. doi: