Chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalomyelitis (CFS/ME) is a multisystem disease, the pathogenesis of which remains undetermined.
Following two microarray studies, we reported the differential expression of 88 human genes in patients with CFS; 85 of these genes were upregulated and 3 were downregulated.
The top functional categories of these 88 genes were:
• Hematologic disease and function,
• Immunologic disease and function,
• Cell death,
• Immune response,
• And infection.
Clustering of quantitative polymerase chain reaction data from CFS/ME patients revealed seven subtypes with distinct differences in Short Form (SF)-36 scores, clinical phenotypes, and severity.
Gene signatures in each subtype implicate five human genes as possible targets for specific therapy.
Development of a diagnostic test for subtype status is now a priority.
The possibility that these subtypes represent individual host responses to particular microbial infections is being investigated and may provide another route to specific therapies for CFS patients.
Source: Current Rheumatology Reports, Dec 2008;10(6):482-91. PMID: 19007540, by Kerr JR. St. George's University of London, United Kingdom. [E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org]