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Previously unrecognized herpesvirus pathogenesis for CFS subset

  [ 4 votes ]   [ Discuss This Article ] • November 14, 2012

Abortive lytic Epstein-Barr virus replication in tonsil-B lymphocytes in infectious mononucleosis and a subset of the chronic fatigue syndrome
- Source: Virus Adaptation and Treatment, Nov 7, 2012

By Martin Lerner, Sefedin Begaj

[Note: The full text PDF of the paper summarized below is available free HERE. It is not geared to a lay audience, but the gist seems to be discovery of a ‘previously unrecognized herpesvirus pathogenesis' for a CFS subset and infectious mononucleosis. Possibly a diagnostic marker for a subset of CFS patients? Normal lytic virus replication is explained in this video. Dr. Lerner and Dr. Begaj have studied and trialed antiviral treatment of group-A (their EBV ME/CFS patient subset), and other subsets, for years. See a press release on a related paper that may explain this work further, published in PLoS ONE on Nov 14, HERE.]

A systematic 2001–2007 review of 142 chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) patients identified 106 CFS patients with elevated serum IgG antibodies to the herpesviruses Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) [aka human herpesvirus 4, or HHV-4], cytomegalovirus, or human herpesvirus (HHV) 6 in single or multiple infections, with no other co-infections detected.

We named these 106 patients group-A CFS.

Eighty-six of these 106 group-A CFS patients (81%) had elevated EBV early antibody, early antigen (diffuse), serum titers.

A small group of six patients in the group-A EBV subset of CFS, additionally, had repetitive elevated-serum titers of antibody to the early lytic replication-encoded proteins, EBV dUTPase, and EBV DNA polymerase.

The presence of these serum antibodies to EBV dUTPase and EBV DNA polymerase indicated EBV abortive lytic replication in these 6 CFS patients.

None of 20 random control people (age- and sex-matched, with blood drawn at a commercial laboratory) had elevated serum titers of antibody to EBV dUTPase or EBV DNA polymerase (P < 0.01).

This finding needs verification in a larger group of EBV CFS subset patients, but if corroborated, it may represent a molecular marker for diagnosing the EBV subset of CFS.

We review evidence that EBV abortive lytic replication with unassembled viral proteins in the blood may be the same in infectious mononucleosis (IM) and a subset of CFS.

EBV-abortive lytic replication in tonsil plasma cells is dominant in IM. No complete lytic virion is in the blood of IM or CFS patients. Complications of CFS and IM include cardiomyopathy and encephalopathy.

Circulating abortive lytic-encoded EBV proteins (eg, EBV dUTPase, EBV DNA polymerase, and others) may be common to IM and CFS.

The intensity and duration of the circulating EBV-encoded proteins might differentiate the IM and EBV subsets of CFS. Abortive lytic replication may be a pathogenic mechanism for EBV disease. EBV (HHV4) is a gamma herpesvirus composed of dsDNA about 170 Kb in length.

For this discussion, there are early genes (including expressions of encoded proteins EBV dUTPase, DNA polymerase, and nuclear proteins) and late genes (including expressions of capsid and membrane proteins).

Abortive infection infers incomplete virion expressions of either early or late proteins, but the virion is incomplete. The lytic virus infers a complete virion.

The pathologic consequences of EBV abortive replication are currently being investigated by authors.

Source: Virus Adaptation and Treatment, Nov 7, 2012. Lerner AM, Begaj S, Department of Medicine, William Beaumont School of Medicine, Oakland University, Rochester Hills, Michigan; Pathology Inc, Torrance, California, USA. [Email:]

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