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No Evidence that HHV-6 or 7 Associated with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?

  [ 79 votes ]   [ Discuss This Article ] • August 15, 2000

Promising research over the past several years has linked Human Herpes Virus-6 (HHV-6) to a number of diseases, including CFS. However, a new study reports conflicting information, stating that there is no evidence that HHV-6A, 6B, 7 or any combination is associated with CFS.

The National Center for Infectious Diseases and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention conducted the newest study using 26 CFS patients and 52 control subjects who exhibited no signs of CFS.

HHV-6 A and B was detected in 11.5% of the CFS patients and 28% of the control group. HHV-7 was detected in 24% of the control group and in only 7.7% of the CFS patients. However, researchers did not find these differences statistically significant.

Patient and control groups were tested using serum samples, lymphocytes and three polymerase chain reaction methods, where enzymes are used to produce unlimited copies of genes.

It is important to keep in mind that this study presents one of several studies and that other studies have shown the opposite to be true.

HHV-6 was originally discovered in the blood lymphocytes of patients with AIDS but subsequently was found, by antibody criteria, in the great majority of humans (99%) and linked to a common childhood febrile illness (roseola). More recently, it was discovered that HHV-6 exists as two distinct strains, A and B. The B strain passively infects most adults and is considered a relatively benign virus. The A strain, however, is a much more pathogenic virus which attacks the brain and immune system and can kill the human host cell that it invades.

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