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Archived Comments for: GB virus-C – a virus without a disease: We cannot give it chronic fatigue syndrome

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  1. Will the CDC CFS Research team (and other teams) please now look at enteroviruses in CFS

    Tom Kindlon, Irish ME/CFS Association - for Information, Support & Research

    30 December 2007

    Not for the first time [1-2], a CDC-funded research team produces a paper on CFS which has a title which mentions a lack of an association with a particular infection[3].

    It would be good if some of the CDC's (not inconsiderable) CFS research budget could be used to investigate enteroviruses in CFS. Earlier this year a study involving enteroviruses[4] resulted in much excitement in the media on the subject. It found, in a sample of CFS patients who had gastrointestinal symptoms, that 135/165 (82%) biopsies stained positive for VP1 within parietal cells, whereas 7/34 (20%) of the controls stained positive (p=<0.001). Earlier studies have demonstrated circulating antigen of enterovirus, raised antibody titres and viral RNA in the blood and muscle biopsy specimens of patients with CFS[4-8]. John Chia does recognize that other infections could be playing a part in some CFS cases but enteroviruses are by far the most common infection he is finding in his clinic in California[9].

    [1] Gelman JH, Unger ER, Mawle AC, Nisenbaum R, Reeves WC: Chronic fatigue syndrome is not associated with expression of endogenous retroviral p15E. Molec Diagnosis 2000, 5:155-156.

    [2] Vernon SD, Shukla S, Reeves WC: Absence of Mycoplasma species DNA in chronic fatigue syndrome.

    J Med Microbiol 2003, 52:1027-1028.

    [3] Jones JF, Kulkarni PS, Butera ST, Reeves WC: GB virus-C--a virus without a disease: we cannot give it chronic fatigue syndrome. Jones JF, Kulkarni PS, Butera ST, Reeves WC. BMC Infect Dis 2005, 5:78

    [4] Yousef GE, Mann GF, Smith DF, et al: Chronic enterovirus infection in patients with postviral fatigue syndrome. Lancet 1988;1:146-7.

    [5] Cunningham L, Bowles NE, Lane RJM, et al: Persistence of enteroviral RNA in chronic fatigue syndrome is associated with abnormal production of equal amounts of positive and negative strands of enteroviral RNA. J Gen Virol 1990;71:1399-402.

    [6] Galbraith DN, Nairn C, Clements GB: Phylogenetic analysis of short enteroviral sequences from patients with chronic fatigue syndrome. J Gen Virol 1995;76:1701-7.

    [7] Lane RJ, Soteriou BA, Zhang H, et al: Enterovirus related metabolic myopathy: a postviral fatigue syndrome. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry 2003;74:1382-6.

    [8] Douche-Aourik F, Berlier W, Fe´asson L, et al: Detection of enterovirus to human skeletal muscle from patients with chronic inflammatory muscle disease or fibromyalgia and healthy subjects. J Med Virol 2003;71:540-7.

    [9] Chia JK, Chia A: Diverse etiologies for the chronic fatigue syndrome. Clin Infect Dis 2003;36:671-2.

    Competing interests

    Assistant Chairperson, Irish ME/CFS Association - for Information, Support & Research (Unpaid position)