Deficient EBV-Specific B- and T-Cell Response in Patients with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) has long been discussed as a possible cause or trigger of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS). In a subset of patients the disease starts with infectious mononucleosis and both enhanced and diminished EBV-specific antibody titers have been reported. In this study, we comprehensively analyzed the EBV-specific memory B- and T-cell response in patients with CFS. While we observed no difference in viral capsid antigen (VCA)-IgG antibodies, EBV nuclear antigen (EBNA)-IgG titers were low or absent in 10% of CFS patients. Remarkably, when analyzing the EBV-specific memory B-cell reservoir in vitro a diminished or absent number of EBNA-1- and VCA-antibody secreting cells was found in up to 76% of patients. Moreover, the ex vivo EBV-induced secretion of TNF-α and IFN-γ was significantly lower in patients. Multicolor flow cytometry revealed that the frequencies of EBNA-1-specific triple TNF-α/IFN-γ/IL-2 producing CD4+ and CD8+ T-cell subsets were significantly diminished whereas no difference could be detected for HCMV-specific T-cell responses. When comparing EBV load in blood immune cells, we found more frequently EBER-DNA but not BZLF-1 RNA in CFS patients compared to healthy controls suggesting more frequent latent replication. Taken together, our findings give evidence for a deficient EBV-specific B- and T-cell memory response in CFS patients and suggest an impaired ability to control early steps of EBV reactivation. In addition the diminished EBV response might be suitable to develop diagnostic marker in CFS.

Screening NK-, B- and T-cell phenotype and function in patients suffering from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

CFS individuals analyzed in this study show no differences in B-cell compartment, skewed NK cells and poorly responsive T cells.
The observed immunological defaults do not provide any causative link to the illness, but could explain some of the symptoms and in particular the poor control of viral infections reported in these individuals. Some of these biomarkers may be useful for the characterization of CFS. (But you have to distinguiesh between ME, CFS ,or both).

Screening NK-, B- and T-cell phenotype and function in patients suffering from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Very long and technical article. 22 patients and 30 healthy controls were tested for certain cells that are part of the immune system. They found an unaffected B-cell compartment, a biased NK-cell phenotype and a poorly responsive T-cell compartment as the main immune features of ME/CFS affected individuals. The striking down modulation of T cell mediated immunity may help to understand intercurrent viral infections in CFS.

Activation of human herpesviruses 6 and 7 in patients with chronic fatigue syndrome

HHV-6 and HHV-7 may be involved in the pathogenesis of CFS and reactivation of both viruses may provoke changes in the phenotype of circulating lymphocytes. Dual infection rate was significantly higher in CFS patients. Active HHV-6 and dual (HHV-6 + HHV-7) infections were detected in CFS patients only, and frequency of HHV-7 reactivation was also significantly higher in these patients. HHV-6 variant B was predominant in CFS patients (12/13). The changes of immunological parameters in CFS patients with active dual infection were characterized by significant decrease of CD3+ and CD4+ T cells, significant increase of CD95+ cells and decrease of CD4+/CD8+ ratio.