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Absence of parvovirus B19 infection in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)

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OBJECTIVE. To evaluate the presence of infection with parvovirus B19
in patients with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) who also had
rheumatologic symptoms and mild hematologic abnormalities.

METHODS. Seven patients meeting the Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention working case definition for CFS who
also had mild leukopenia, thrombocytopenia, or anemia were
studied. Bone marrow was aspirated from each patient, and
examined for morphologic abnormalities, including features
seen in marrow infections with parvovirus B19, as well as for
parvoviral DNA, using polymerase chain reaction (PCR)
amplification. Serum obtained at the time of marrow aspiration
was also evaluated for parvoviral DNA, using the PCR method,
and was examined for the presence of IgM and IgG antibodies to
the virus.

RESULTS. No evidence of marrow involvement with
parvovirus B19 was found in any patient. One patient had
antibody evidence of a transient parvoviral infection, during
which time an underlying thrombocytopenia worsened.

CONCLUSION. Despite examining a selected group of patients
thought most likely to have parvoviral infection, based on
clinical and hematologic measures, no evidence of clinically
important parvoviral infection was noted. Thus, it seems
unlikely that parvovirus B19 plays a role in CFS, even though
it has been associated with fibromyalgia, a clinically similar
syndrome.EM- 9508

Ilaria RL Jr, Komaroff AL, Fagioli LR, Moloney WC, True CA, Naides
SJ

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