Infection and Alzheimer's disease: The APOE epsilon 4 connection and lipid metabolism

Nadia Urosevic, Ralph Martins

Research output: Contribution to journalLiterature review


Microorganisms, bacteria and viruses may infect and cause a range of acute and chronic diseases in humans dependent on the genetic background, age, sex, immune and health status of the host, as well as on the nature, virulence and dose of infectious agent. Late onset Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a progressive neurodegenerative illness of broad aetiology with a strong genetic component and a significant contribution of age, sex and life style factors. Both infectious diseases and AD are characterised by an increased production of an array of immune mediators, cytokines, chemokines and complement proteins by the host cells as well as by changes in the host lipid metabolism. In this review, we re-examine a dangerous liaison between several viral and bacterial infections and the most significant genetic factor for AD, APOE epsilon 4, and the possible impact of this alliance on AD development. This connection was discussed in the broader context of lipid metabolism and in the light of different capacity of various infectious agents, their toxic lipophilic products and host lipoprotein particles for binding to cell receptor(s).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)421-435
JournalJournal of Alzheimer's Disease
Publication statusPublished - 2008


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