Studies on enterovirus in patients with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)

A large study on 121 patients with the chronic fatigue syndrome

(CFS) that examined muscle biopsy samples for enterovirus by

means of polymerase chain reaction analysis was carried out.

The results were compared with those obtained from 101 muscle

biopsy specimens from patients with a variety of other

neuromuscular disorders (OND), including neurogenic atrophies,

dystrophies, and mitochondrial, metabolic, and endocrine

myopathies. Thirty-two (26.4%) of the biopsy specimens from

the group of patients with CFS were positive, compared with 20

(19.8%) from the group of patients with OND, a difference that

was not significant. This finding is in contrast to those of

our previous smaller study in which significantly more

patients with CFS than control subjects (53% [32 of 60] vs.

15% [6 of 41]) had enterovirus RNA sequences in their muscle.

It was concluded that it is unlikely that persistent

enterovirus infection plays a pathogenetic role in CFS,

although an effect in initiating the disease process cannot be


Gow JW, Behan WM, Simpson K, McGarry F, Keir S, Behan PO

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