Bacterial DNA signatures in carotid atherosclerosis represent both commensals and pathogens of skin origin

Jaana Renko, Katja A Koskela, Paul W Lepp, Niku Oksala, Mari Levula, Terho Lehtimäki, Tiina Solakivi, Tarja Kunnas, Simo Nikkari, Seppo T. Nikkari

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Infectious agents have been suggested to be involved in atherosclerosis. By using a novel subtraction broad-range PCR approach, we defined bacterial DNA signatures in surgically removed sterile carotid artery endarterectomy plaques of patients with carotid atherosclerosis. Eighty partial bacterial 16S rDNA nucleotide sequences from eight patients were studied. Furthermore, 34 clones representing 21 bacterial sequence-types from the reagents used for DNA extraction and PCR amplification were determined. After subtraction of these potential methodological contaminants, 23 bacterial sequence-types were considered as clinically relevant findings. The most prominent phylum, Actinobacteria, accounted for 74% of these relevant sequences. Furthermore, according to the Human Microbiome project database, interestingly, nearly all (94%) of the sequences were associated with the human skin microbiome.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)53-8
Number of pages6
JournalEuropean Journal of Dermatology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2013
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Actinobacteria/isolation & purification
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Carotid Artery Diseases/microbiology
  • DNA, Bacterial/isolation & purification
  • DNA, Ribosomal
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Metagenome
  • Middle Aged
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA
  • Skin/microbiology


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