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Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is a clinically defined illness estimated to affect millions of people worldwide causing significant morbidity and an annual cost of billions of dollars.
Currently there are no laboratory-based diagnostic methods for CFS. However, differences in gene expression profiles between CFS patients and healthy persons have been reported in the literature.
Using mRNA relative quantities for 44 previously identified reporter [reported “marker” or “signature”] genes taken from a large dataset including both CFS patients and healthy volunteers, we derived a gene profile scoring metric to accurately classify CFS and healthy samples.
This metric out-performed any of the reporter genes used individually as a classifier of CFS.
To determine whether the reporter genes were robust across populations, we applied this metric to classify a separate blind dataset of mRNA relative quantities from a new population of CFS patients and healthy persons with limited success.
Although the metric was able to successfully classify roughly two-thirds of both CFS and healthy samples correctly, the level of misclassification was high.
We conclude many of the previously identified reporter genes are study-specific and thus cannot be used as a broad CFS diagnostic.
Source: PLoS ONE, Mar 30, 2011. PMID: 21479222, by Frampton D, Kerr J, Harrison TJ, Kellam P. Department of Infection, Division of Infection and Immunity University College London; Division of Clinical Sciences, St George’s University of London; Department of Internal Medicine, University College London Medical School; Wellcome Trust Genome Campus, Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, Cambraidge, UK; Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, USA. [Email firstname.lastname@example.org]