Association of Human Parvovirus B19 Infection with Development and Clinical Course of Myalgic Encephalomyelitis / Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

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Our aim was to estimate the presence of B19V infection markers, the level of cytokines and time period since the appearance of infection in association with ME/CFS clinical symptoms. In 200 ME/CFS patients and 104 control group individuals the presence of B19V-specific IgG/IgM class antibodies, B19V NS1 gene sequence, mRNA expression, viral load and level of cytokines were determined. B19V-specific IgG-antibodies were found in 70% of ME/CFS patients and 67.4% of controls, IgM-antibodies in 8% of patients and in none of controls, B19V genomic sequences in 29% of patients and 3.8% of controls. 58.6% of positive patients had active and 41.4% had latent/persistent B19V infection. B19V NS1 gene expression was detected in 43% of patients. B19V load varied from < 0.2 copies to median 38.2 copies/µg of DNA. According to the antibody pattern, 36% of patients had a recent, and 43% had sustained B19V infection. Patients with the B19V genomic sequence and NS1 specific antibodies significantly more often had lymphadenopathy and multi-joint pain. Onset of the symptoms corresponded to time of appearance of B19V infection. IL-10 and TNF-levels were higher in patients with elevated B19V load. B19V genome 1 was identified in Latvian ME/CFS patients. The results indicated that at least in some cases B19V infection plays an important role in ME/CFS development

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