OBJECTIVES: To investigate the potential role of Yersinia
enterocolitica in patients with chronic fatigue syndrome
METHODS: An immunoblot technique was used to detect
antibodies to various Yersinia outer membrane proteins (YOPs)
in serum samples from 88 patients with CFS and 77 healthy
neighbourhood controls, matched for gender and age.
The prevalence of IgG and IgA antibodies to various Yersinia
outer membrane proteins (YOPs) did not differ between patients
with CFS and healthy controls. Twenty-four patients (27%) and
nineteen controls (25%) had IgG antibodies to one or more
YOPs. Four patients and two controls had both serum IgG and
IgA antibodies to at least two different YOPs, compatible with
a recent or persistent infection. Although all patients with
positive IgG and IgA reactions to two or more YOPs had
symptoms that could point to persistent Yersinia infection,
these symptoms were also found frequently in patients without
antibodies to YOPs.
CONCLUSIONS: We conclude that Y.
enterocolitica is unlikely to play a major role in the
aetiology of CFS.