Viral studies of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)

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Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) has many characteristics suggesting

persistent fatigue following a viral illness. At least nine

different RNA and DNA viruses have been considered to be

associated with this disease, but none of these viruses has

been found to be the etiologic agent. Immunologic studies have

demonstrated activated CD8+ cells and reduced function of

natural killer cells suggesting a host response to an

infection that has led to persistent immune disorders. Some of

the symptoms of CFS may be due to cytokines produced by this

hyperactive immune response to a virus that is still present

in the host or that has been eliminate but leaves abnormal

immunologic sequelae. These possibilities offer directions for

future studies of CFS and therapeutic approaches to this

condition.

Levy JA

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