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Br Med Bull. 1991 Oct;47(4):872-85.

Amplification and identification of enteroviral sequences in the postviral fatigue syndrome.

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University Department of Neurology, Southern General Hospital, Glasgow, UK.


Evidence from several sources has long suggested that enteroviruses might play a role in the postviral fatigue syndrome (PVFS). We used the most sensitive molecular virological method available at present, the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplification technique, to look for enteroviral copies in peripheral blood leucocytes and muscle from a well-defined group of patients. We demonstrated that our PCR method amplified a sequence common to a wide range of enteroviral serotypes. A highly significant number of the muscle biopsies (53%: P = less than 0.001) from the patients were positive for enteroviral sequences. With regard to the leucocyte samples, 16% in both patient and control were positive. The PCR results on the peripheral blood leucocytes were in keeping with serological findings, in showing that the level of exposure to enteroviruses seemed to be the same in patients and controls: it was therefore of the greatest interest that patients were 6.7 times more likely to have enteroviral genome in their muscle. We conclude that persistent enteroviral infection plays a role in the pathogenesis of PVFS, also providing preliminary evidence that severe mitochondrial injury is one of the mechanisms involved.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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