Enteroviruses & Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)

The possible role of enteroviral persistence in the etiology

of the chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) was investigated by

serological testing, VP-1 antigen testing, and polymerase

chain reaction (PCR) analysis of stool specimens as well as by

viral cultures of stool–both direct and after acid treatment.

No differences between 76 patients with disabling unexplained

fatigue and 76 matched controls were found by serological or

antigen testing. Furthermore, no enteroviruses were isolated

from any stool culture. Enterovirus was detected by PCR in one

stool specimen from a patient with CFS but was not detectable

in a second sample obtained from the same patient 3 months

later. All stool specimens from controls were PCR-negative.

These results argue against the hypothesis that enteroviruses

persist in patients with CFS and that their persistence plays

a role in the pathogenesis of this syndrome.

Swanink CM, Melchers WJ, van der Meer JW, Vercoulen JH, Bleijenberg

G, Fennis J, F, Galama JM

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