. 2020 Jul 9.

doi: 10.1007/s11357-020-00216-x. Online ahead of print.

Seropositivity for pathogens associated with chronic infections is a risk factor for all-cause mortality in the elderly: findings from the Memory and Morbidity in Augsburg Elderly (MEMO) Study


Immunostimulation by chronic infection has been linked to an increased risk for different non-communicable diseases, which in turn are leading causes of death in high- and middle-income countries. Thus, we investigated if a positive serostatus for pathogens responsible for common chronic infections is individually or synergistically related to reduced overall survival in community dwelling elderly. We used data of 365 individuals from the German MEMO (Memory and Morbidity in Augsburg Elderly) cohort study with a median age of 73 years at baseline and a median follow-up of 14 years. We examined the effect of a positive serostatus at baseline for the following selected pathogens associated with chronic infections on all-cause mortality with multivariable parametric survival models:

  • Helicobacter pylori
  • Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato
  • Toxoplasma gondii
  • cytomegalovirus
  • Epstein-Barr virus
  • herpes simplex virus 1/2, and human herpesvirus 6

We found a reduced survival time in individuals with a positive serostatus for the following pathogens after adjusting for potential confounders:

  • Helicobacter pylori (accelerated failure time (AFT) – 15.92, 95% CI – 29.96; – 1.88)
  • cytomegalovirus (AFT – 22.81, 95% CI – 36.41; – 9.22)
  • Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato (AFT – 25.25, 95% CI – 43.40; – 7.10)
The number of infectious agents an individual was seropositive for had a linear effect on all-cause mortality (AFT per additional infection – 12.42 95% CI – 18.55; – 6.30).

Our results suggest an effect of seropositivity for Helicobacter pylori, cytomegalovirus, and Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato on all-cause mortality in older community dwelling individuals. Further research with larger cohorts and additional biomarkers is required, to assess mediators and molecular pathways of this effect.



Recently I posted this article and that Cytomegalovirus, EBV, and Herpes Virus 6 has been found in those with ME/CFS:

Some have been misdiagnosed with EBV but had Lyme:

Dr. Waisbren, an IDSA founder and Wisconsin Doctor found that his Lyme patients often had high EBV titers:

Another important finding: The more pathogens a patient tested positive for, the higher the mortality, demonstrating that coinfected patients are sicker.





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