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A paradigm linking herpesvirus immediate-early gene expression apoptosis and myalgic encephalomyelitis chronic fatigue syndrome

Authors A Martin Lerner, Safedin Beqaj

Published Date February 2011 Volume 2011:3 Pages 19—24

DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.2147/VAAT.S15105

Published 21 February 2011

A Martin Lerner1, Safedin Beqaj2
1Department of Medicine, William Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak, MI, USA; 2DCL Medical Laboratories, Indianapolis, IN, USA

Abstract: There is no accepted science to relate herpesviruses (Epstein–Barr virus [EBV], human cytomegalovirus [HCMV], and human herpesvirus 6 [HHV6]) as causes of myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME)/chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). ME/CFS patients have elevated serum immunoglobulin (Ig)G serum antibody titers to EBV, HCMV, and HHV6, but there is no herpesvirus DNA-emia, herpesvirus antigenemia, or uniformly elevated IgM serum antibody titers to the complete virions. We propose that herpesvirus EBV, HCMV, and HHV6 immediate-early gene expression in ME/CFS patients leads to host cell dysregulation and host cell apoptosis without lytic herpesvirus replication. Specific antiviral nucleosides, which alleviate ME/CFS, namely valacyclovir for EBV ME/CFS and valganciclovir for HCMV/HHV6 ME/CFS, inhibit herpesvirus DNA polymerases and/or thymidine kinase functions, thus inhibiting lytic virus replication. New host cell recruitment thus ceases. In the absence of new herpesvirus, nonpermissive herpesvirus replication stops, and ME/CFS recovery ensues.

Keywords: ME/CFS, Epstein–Barr virus (EBV), human cytomegalovirus (HCMV), HHV6, abortive replication

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