(From EurekAlert!). Adding insult to injury: as if the destruction of your immune system over the years was not enough, cytomegalovirus also causes further direct harm to your body: "Atherosclerosis is the main cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. ... Recently inflammation and infectious agents have been shown to play an important role in the onset of acute cardiovascular events. ... Cytomegalovirus infection can be responsible of the initial vascular lesions typical of the atherosclerotic process. The mechanism involved in the vascular lesion is of autoimmune origin: antibodies directed against particular proteins of the virus are able to bind molecules expressed on the surface of the cells that line the arterial walls (endothelial cells) and to cause their death (apoptosis) through a mechanism called 'molecular mimicry.' ... This new study therefore confirms that antibodies directed against Cytomegalovirus-derived proteins purified from patients with coronary artery disease induce endothelial cells damage and support the hypothesis that virus infection plays a crucial role in mediating the atherosclerotic process."