An update on the management of glandular fever (infectious mononucleosis) and its sequelae caused by Epstein–Barr virus (HHV-4): new and emerging treatment strategies
A Martin Lerner1, Safedin H Beqaj2, Ken Gill3, James Edington3, James T Fitzgerald4, Robert G Deeter5
1Department of Medicine, William Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak, MI, USA; 2DCL Medical Laboratories, Indianapolis, IN, USA; 3The Dr A Martin Lerner, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Foundation, Beverly Hills, MI, USA; 4Department of Medical Education, University of Michigan, Medical School, Ann Arbor, MI, USA; 5Hematology-Oncology, Global Health Economics, Amgen Inc, Thousand Oaks, CA, USA
Purpose: Beginning in 1993 at a single chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) treatment center, we began studies that demonstrate Epstein–Barr virus (EBV) nonpermissive replication. In the most recent study performed, EBV nonpermissive replication is the cause of 28.3% of 106 consecutive CFS cases, and is etiologic with human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) and/or human herpes virus 6 (HHV-6) as a coinfection in an additional 52.8% of CFS cases. Therefore, EBV is causally involved in 81% of cases of CFS. Further, EBV CFS is effectively treated with long-term valacyclovir. Coinfection HCMV and HHV-6 CFS requires valganciclovir with valacyclovir.
Patients and results: The validated Energy Index Point Score® (EIPS®) monitors severity of CFS illness and its recovery. A specific CFS diagnostic panel identifies EBV CFS subsets. Four separate EBV CFS therapeutic studies of several hundred CFS patients describe valacyclovir administration and long-term patient recovery. With valacyclovir, serum EBV titers (EBV, early antigen (diffuse); EBV, viral capsid antigen, immunoglobulin M); 24-hour electrocardiography Holter monitors; and cardiac dynamic studies improve.
Conclusion: Nonpermissive EBV infection is causal in a significant proportion of CFS cases. EBV CFS is safely and effectively treated with long-term valacyclovir.
Keywords: valacyclovir treatment, chronic fatigue syndrome, Epstein–Barr virus, EIPS, Energy Index Point Score
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