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Herpes virus and parvovirus B19 in patients with a chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Human herpesvirus-6 (HHV-6), Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) and the Parvovirus B19 have been proposed as etiological agent of chronic fatigue syndrome, but none of these viruses has been consistently demonstrated in all patients. However, active viral infection can be localized in specific tissues, and are therefore difficult to detect. The aim of this study was to investigate the presence of HHV-6, HHV-7, EBV and parvovirus B19 in the gastrointestinal tract of CFS patients.Fatigue Syndrome


With real-time PCR, viral THEN loads in gastrointestinal biopsies from 48 CFS patients were quantified with 35 control subjects.


  • A large proportion of herpes virus-7 DNA was detected in most CFS and control biopsies.
  • Epstein-Barr virus and herpesvirus 6 were detected in 15-30% of all biopsies.
  • Parvovirus B19 DNA of patients compared to less than 15% in the control group was observed in 40%.


1.Parvovirus B19 may be involved in the pathogenesis of CFS, at least for a subset of patients.

2. The gastrointestinal tract is used as an important reservoir of infection sources for several potentially pathogenic viruses.