Japanese patients with chronic fatigue syndrome are negative for known retrovirus infections

Microbiol Immunol. 1993;37(10):779-84. doi: 10.1111/j.1348-0421.1993.tb01705.x.


Although chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is known to be the syndrome that begins with an acute flu-like illness that may be due to the exposure to an infectious agent, there has been no convincing evidence on the causative agents. Recently, human T-lymphotropic virus type II (HTLV-II)-like virus has been reported to be associated with the CFS by using HTLV Western blot analysis and polymerase chain reaction. However, some investigators could not detect HTLV-II by indirect immunofluorescence analysis. Lately, CFS patients have been reported in Japan. We detected all 30 tested patients with CFS were seronegative for HTLV-II, HTLV-I and HIV by specific peptide ELISA and Western blot. Further, PCR analysis was negative for HTLV-II and retrovirus was not detected by coculture method with patients' PBMC. Thus, known human retrovirus infections do not cause a CFS in Japan.

MeSH terms

  • Blotting, Western
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Fatigue Syndrome, Chronic / microbiology*
  • HIV Infections / epidemiology
  • HTLV-I Infections / epidemiology
  • HTLV-II Infections / epidemiology*
  • Humans
  • Japan / epidemiology
  • Leukocytes, Mononuclear / microbiology
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • RNA-Directed DNA Polymerase
  • Seroepidemiologic Studies


  • RNA-Directed DNA Polymerase