Even Low Levels of Infection Can Cause Cardiac Dysfunction in Older Individuals

We examined how mycobacterial infection and inflammaging catalyze the decline in cardiovascular function in the elderly. Young (3 months) and old (18 month) female C57BL/6 mice were infected with a sub-lethal dose of Mycobacterium avium (M. avium), an NTM. We observed no differences in the M. avium bacterial numbers in the lung, liver, or spleen between young and old M. avium infected mice. However, through the course of M. avium infection, old mice developed severe dysrhythmia and developed pericarditis. Moreover, the hearts of M. avium infected old mice had increased cardiac hypertrophy, fibrosis, expression of pro-inflammatory genes, and infiltration of immune cells, which are hallmarks of myocarditis. Since these cardiac abnormalities only manifested in old mice, we investigated several factors that contribute to this form of age dependent infectious myocarditis. Independent of M. avium infection, old mice had increased levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines in their serum, which may have predisposed old mice to infectious myocarditis. The reasons for increased inflammation in old age are multifaceted, and future studies will be needed to identify the principal sources of increased inflammation and whether ameliorating inflammation prevents NTM associated cardiac complications in old mice. This highlights how even low or what we may generally consider as insignificant bacterial loads can profoundly impact cardiovascular health. Link: https://doi.org/10.1863...
Source: Fight Aging! - Category: Research Authors: Tags: Daily News Source Type: blogs

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Source: The Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal - Category: Infectious Diseases Tags: Antimicrobial Reports Source Type: research
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Source: The Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal - Category: Infectious Diseases Tags: Original Studies Source Type: research
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