Demonstration of Borna disease virus RNA in peripheral blood mononuclear cells derived from Japanese patients with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)

CFS, a recently named heterogeneous disorder, is an illness of
unknown etiology. The association of CFS with viral infections
has been suggested. A common association between CFS and
several viruses examined has not been confirmed. Here, we
centered on the possible link between CFS and BDV infection.
By nested RT-PCR followed by hybridization, BDV RNA was
demonstrated as a clear signal in PBMCs in 3 out of 25 CFS
patients. The amplified cDNA fragments were cloned and
sequenced. A total of 16 clones were studied. Intra-patients
divergencies of the p24 were 2-9%, 3-20%, and 3-11% in the
deduced amino acids. Inter-patient divergencies among the 16
clones were 3-24%. Antibodies to recombinant BDV p24 protein
were detected in 6 CFS patients including one carrying BDV
RNA. Overall, these gave the prevalence of 32% (8/25) in
Japanese CFS patients, suggesting that Japanese CFS is highly
associated with active infection of BDV, or a related agent.

Nakaya T, Takahashi H, Nakamura Y, Asahi S, Tobiume M, Kuratsune H,
Kitani T, Yamanishi K, Ikuta K

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