Dynamics of chronic active herpesvirus-6 infection in patients with chronic fatigue syndrome: data acquisition for computer modeling

In Vivo. 2001 Nov-Dec;15(6):461-5.


Ten adult patients with persistent active HHV-6 variant A infection and clinical chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) were studied over a period of 24 months after initial clinical diagnosis. CFS was diagnosed according to IIIP-revised CDC-criteria as defined by the CFS Expert Advisory Group to the German Federal Ministry of Health in 1994. Changes in HHV-6 antibody titer, viral DNA load, peripheral blood T lymphocytes and subpopulations, as well as CD4/CD8 cell ratio and cell death (apoptosis) were monitored. Data were collected for comparison with respective changes in acute HHV-6 infection and as a basis for future computer simulation studies. The results showed variable but slightly elevated numbers of HHV-6 DNA copies in the blood of patients with CFS, while PBL (peripheral blood lymphocyte) apoptosis rates were clearly increased. CD4/CD8 cell ratios varied from below 1 up to values as seen in autoimmune disorders. Contrary to acute HHV-6 infection, T lymphocytes do not exhibit the usual response to HHV-6, that is elevation of mature and immature populations suggesting a certain degree of unresponsiveness. The data suggest that persistent low-dose stimulation by HHV-6 may favor imbalanced immune response rather than overt immune deficiency. This hypothesis requires confirmation through additional functional studies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antibodies, Viral / blood
  • Antibodies, Viral / immunology
  • CD4-CD8 Ratio
  • Child
  • Chronic Disease
  • Computer Simulation
  • DNA, Viral / blood
  • Data Collection
  • Fatigue Syndrome, Chronic / blood
  • Fatigue Syndrome, Chronic / complications
  • Fatigue Syndrome, Chronic / immunology*
  • Fatigue Syndrome, Chronic / virology
  • Female
  • Herpesvirus 6, Human / genetics
  • Herpesvirus 6, Human / immunology
  • Herpesvirus 6, Human / isolation & purification*
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Roseolovirus Infections / blood
  • Roseolovirus Infections / complications
  • Roseolovirus Infections / immunology*
  • Roseolovirus Infections / virology


  • Antibodies, Viral
  • DNA, Viral