Studies on enterovirus in patients with chronic fatigue syndrome

Clin Infect Dis. 1994 Jan;18 Suppl 1:S126-9. doi: 10.1093/clinids/18.supplement_1.s126.


A large study on 121 patients with the chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) that examined muscle biopsy samples for enterovirus by means of polymerase chain reaction analysis was carried out. The results were compared with those obtained from 101 muscle biopsy specimens from patients with a variety of other neuromuscular disorders (OND), including neurogenic atrophies, dystrophies, and mitochondrial, metabolic, and endocrine myopathies. Thirty-two (26.4%) of the biopsy specimens from the group of patients with CFS were positive, compared with 20 (19.8%) from the group of patients with OND, a difference that was not significant. This finding is in contrast to those of our previous smaller study in which significantly more patients with CFS than control subjects (53% [32 of 60] vs. 15% [6 of 41]) had enterovirus RNA sequences in their muscle. It was concluded that it is unlikely that persistent enterovirus infection plays a pathogenetic role in CFS, although an effect in initiating the disease process cannot be excluded.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Base Sequence
  • DNA, Viral / genetics
  • Enterovirus / genetics
  • Enterovirus / isolation & purification*
  • Enterovirus / pathogenicity
  • Enterovirus Infections / complications*
  • Fatigue Syndrome, Chronic / etiology*
  • Fatigue Syndrome, Chronic / microbiology
  • Fatigue Syndrome, Chronic / pathology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Muscles / microbiology
  • Muscles / pathology
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • RNA, Viral / genetics
  • RNA, Viral / isolation & purification
  • Sequence Homology, Nucleic Acid


  • DNA, Viral
  • RNA, Viral

Associated data

  • GENBANK/S72917