Existing relationship between viral infection and atherosclerosis

Author(s): Alexander V. Blagov, Elena B. Zhigmitova, Vasily N. Sukhorukov, Andrey V.Grechko, Mikhail A. Popov, Alexander N. Orekhov

Atherosclerosis is manifested by thickening of the walls of the arteries and narrowing of their channels due to the accumulation of plaques. This is one of the most important indicators of cardiovascular disease. It can be caused by various factors such as smoking, a high cholesterol diet, hypertension, hyperglycemia, and genetic factors. However, atherosclerosis can also develop due to infection. Some bacteria and viruses have been reported to cause the development of atherosclerosis. Examples of these viruses are influenza viruses, herpes viruses, hepatitis viruses or papillomaviruses, which are widely distributed and known throughout the world. Moreover, many patients with Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) showed symptoms of cardiovascular disease. The significance of various viral infections in the etiology and pathogenesis of atherosclerosis will be considered and analyzed in detail in this review.