ME/CFS Research Foundation Logo

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Immunedeficiencies


Principal investigator:
Study start:
Completion (planned):
Not available
Last update:


Research types:
Basic research
Research areas:
Infections, Immunological dysfunction
Not applicable
Priv. Sector Partner:
Not available

Project description

CFS is not a novel, but a largely unknown multisystemic disease, causing extreme exhaustion, sleeping disorders, unspecific pain, neurological and motorical disorders as well as alterations in the immune response. Most patients experience first symptoms between 20 and 40 years. Due to the lack of clinical biomarkers and symptom similarity to psychological disorders, patients suffer from long waiting times until diagnosis. The multisystemic nature of CFS hampers research on disease onset. Thus, initial trigger events remain to be elucidated. However, recent studies suggest persistent viral infections (i.e. EBV) to alter immune homeostasis and mucosal epithelial barrier function.

In a retrospective study the invesigators aim to evaluate alterations in the immune system of over 200 affected CFS patients in relationship with serological EBV-antibody titers and clinical symptoms of mononucleosis. Furthermore, in a prospective study, the presence of viral EBV-specific mRNA and host cell-junction mRNA will be examined in biological samples of CFS patients. By this, the invesigators want to associate persistent EBV-infections with an altered immune response due to mucosal epithelial barrier dysfunction. Moreover, the invesigators expect their results to support the search for reliable clinical biomarkers for faster diagnosis in the future. 

(Description adapted from project website: see link above)

Patient cohort

ME/CFS according to Institut of Medicince (IOM) compared with healthy controls.

Patients enrolled: 262

Age group: 18 - 79 years (Adults)

Research areas (6)
Research types (2)
Research networks (0)
Working groups (1)
People (5)
Publications (1)
Organisations (1)

Research areas

Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)
Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is the type species of lymphocryptovirus, belonging to the subfamily of gammaherpesvirinae, infecting B-cells in humans. It is thought to be the causative agent of inectious mononucleosis (IM) and is strongly associated with oral hairy leukoplakia, burkitt lymphoma and other malignancies. IM is a common, acute infection usually caused by EBV. There is an increase in ...
Research projects:
Immunological dysfunction
Immune system is the body's defense mechanism against foreign organisms or substances and deviant native cells. It includes the humoral immune response and the cell-mediated response and consists of a complex of interrelated cellular, molecular, and genetic components. Diseases of the immune system are disorders caused by abnormal or absent immunologic mechanisms, whether humoral, cell-m...
Research projects: