Friday, April 25, 2014
More on Enteroviruses and ME/CFS
A few recent comments on the history of research into enteroviral involvement in ME/CFS are worth highlighting. These comments come from Dr. Charles Shepherd and from Hip, of the Phoenix Rising forums. Hip contributes multiple, important observations to the Phoenix Rising forum and his ideas are always insightful.
From Charles Shepherd:
"I have now met and listened to Dr. Chia on several occasions and I was at the IACFS/ME conference in San Francisco - where he again presented his findings relating to persisting enteroviral infection. I agree with Tony Komaroff that these findings cannot simply be dismissed and we do need another independent group of virologists to see if they can replicate these findings. I have made these points in my own detailed summary of the conference - which is now being prepared for publication. At present, the balance of evidence (much of which was done in the UK by Professor John Gow and colleagues in Glasgow) relating to persisting enteroviral infection in ME/CFS is against any such link. But I think we should adopt a position of 'the jury is still out' on persistent enteroviral infection in ME/CFS until someone has tried to replicate what is a very thorough and interesting piece of virology research."
"Hi Charles Shepherd,
I believe Professor John Gow primarily looked for enteroviruses in the muscles of ME/CFS patients. However, generally speaking, muscle symptoms such as muscle pain are not that common in ME/CFs, whereas gut and of course especially neurological symptoms (e.g. brain fog, sound sensitivity) are the norm. Thus unless you look for enteroviruses in the areas where the symptoms exist, i.e. gut and nervous system or brain, you may not find much evidence for these viruses. Dr. Chia looked in the gut, and found a strong association between ME/CFS and enterovirus infection; but ideally I think you would want to look in the brain and nervous system (in postmortem studies), because neurological symptoms are really the core of ME/CFS. It is known that when enteroviruses like coxsackie virus B enter the brain, they form a persistent infection of the astrocyte cells and the neural progenitor cells. So these perhaps are the areas where we should be looking for enteroviruses in ME/CFS. Two brain autopsies on deceased ME/CFS patients did indeed find enterovirus in the brain.
Viral Isolation from Brain in Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (A Case Report) 2001 J. Richardson www.oocities.org/vitamvas/viralfm.html
Enterovirus in the Chronic Fatigue Syndrome 1994. McGarry F, Gow J, Behan PQ. www.ncf-net.org/library/enterovirusincfs.htm
Also, it is now known that enteroviruses such as coxsackie virus B form two distinct types of infections in the body: first the normal lytic enterovirus infection, and second the noncytolytic enterovirus infection. The latter resides purely within human cells, and is not easily detected. Nevertheless, Dr. Chia, and other researchers such as Dr. Nora Chapman, suggest these hard to detect noncytolytic enteroviruses may play a significant role in ME/CFS. Thus ME/CFS studies need to search for both lytic and noncytolytic enteroviruses in ME/CFS patients.
Hi Charles Shepherd,
Also, if you look at the list of enterovirus studies by British researchers from 1983 to 2001 (which includes Prof. Gow's studies), these all found a pretty strong association between ME/CFS and enteroviruses such as coxsackie virus B. This list of enterovirus studies can be found here.
As far as I can see, there seems to be solid and consistent evidence over several decades for the role of enteroviruses in ME/CFS."
Thanks again to Hip and Dr. Charles Shepherd