Abstract: Delayed-type hypersensitivity and chronic fatigue syndrome: the usefulness of assessing T-cell activation by flow cytometry–preliminary study

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Allerg Immunol (Paris). 2001 Apr;33(4):166-72.  Brunet JL, Liaudet AP, Later R, Peyramond D, Cozon GJ.  Infectious Diseases Department-Hopital de la Croix-Rousse-69317 Lyon, France.

Chronic fatigue syndrome or benign myalgic encephalomyelitis has been extensively described and investigated. Although numerous immunological abnormalities have been linked with the syndrome, none have been found to be specific.

This article describes the detection of delayed-type hypersensitive responses to certain common environmental antigens in almost fifty per cent of patients with this syndrome. Such hypersensitivity can be detected by the intradermal administration of antigens derived from commensal organisms like the yeast Candida albicans albicans, and then monitoring for a systemic reaction over the following six to forty-eight hours. This approach can be consolidated by performing lymphocyte activation tests in parallel and measuring in vitro T-cell activation by Candida albicans albicans antigens by three-colour flow cytometry based on CD3, CD4 and either CD69 or CD25. Another useful parameter is the kinetics of neopterin excretion in the urine over the course of the skin test.

The results showed that the intensity of the DTH response correlated with the number of T-cells activated in vitro. Various factors have been implicated in the fatigue of many patients, notably lack of sleep. However, it remains difficult to establish causality in either one direction or the other. This work is in the spirit of a multifactorial approach to the group of conditions referred to as "chronic fatigue syndrome".

PMID: 11434196 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

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