ME/CFS Research Foundation Logo

EBV, SARS-CoV-2, HSV Mimicry Epitopes and Autoantibodies


Principal investigator:
Study start:
Completion (planned):
Last update:


Research types:
Basic research
Research areas:
Infections, Immunological dysfunction, General
Not applicable
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Project description

As part of the Immune Mechanisms of ME (IMMME) research network, this project seeks to answer the question of whether and how cross-reactive virus-specific antibodies contribute to ME/CFS. To this end, the investigators compare antibody binding to viral peptide sequences and their homologous sequences in human proteins in patients and healthy control subjects. To obtain further evidence of in vivo relevance, investigators examine autoantibody binding to the corresponding viral and human proteins. The project will also investigate an association of these potential autoreactive antibodies with the severity of key symptoms such as fatigue, pain, cognitive deficits and exercise intolerance. In addition, the effect of the autoreactive antibodies on their target proteins and their function will be further investigated using suitable functional, cell-based assays. The focus is on G protein-coupled receptors (GPCR), which are involved in signal transmission in various processes. ​

The autoantibodies identified as part of the project will also be examined for their diagnostic potential. Further findings should provide a basis for the therapeutic targeting of autoantibodies.​

(Description adapted from project website: see link above)

Patient cohort

ME/CFS according to Canadian Consensus Criteria (CCC) compared with healthy controls.

Patients enrolled: 150

Age group: 16 - 25 years (Children, Adults)

Research areas (10)
Research types (2)
Research networks (1)
Working groups (3)
People (7)
Publications (0)
Organisations (4)

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 ...
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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...
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