Enterovirus RNA has been found previously in specimens of muscle biopsy from patients with idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy, chronic inflammatory muscle diseases, and fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue syndrome (fibromyalgia/chronic fatigue syndrome). These results suggest that skeletal muscle may host enteroviral persistent infection. To test this hypothesis, we investigated by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) assay the presence of enterovirus in skeletal muscle of patients with chronic inflammatory muscle diseases or fibromyalgia/chronic fatigue syndrome, and also of healthy subjects. Three of 15 (20%) patients with chronic inflammatory muscle diseases, 4 of 30 (13%) patients with fibromyalgia/chronic fatigue syndrome, and none of 29 healthy subjects was found positive. The presence of VP-1 enteroviral capsid protein was assessed by an immunostaining technique using the 5-D8/1 monoclonal antibody; no biopsy muscle from any patient or healthy subject was found positive. The presence of viral RNA in some muscle biopsies from patients exhibiting muscle disease, together with the absence of VP-1 protein, is in favor of a persistent infection involving defective viral replication.
Copyright 2003 Wiley-Liss, Inc.