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