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PLoS One. 2011 Mar 30;6(3):e16872. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0016872.

Assessment of a 44 gene classifier for the evaluation of chronic fatigue syndrome from peripheral blood mononuclear cell gene expression.

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  • 1Department of Infection, Division of Infection and Immunity, University College London, London, United Kingdom.

Abstract

Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is a clinically defined illness estimated to affect millions of people worldwide causing significant morbidity and an annual cost of billions of dollars. Currently there are no laboratory-based diagnostic methods for CFS. However, differences in gene expression profiles between CFS patients and healthy persons have been reported in the literature. Using mRNA relative quantities for 44 previously identified reporter genes taken from a large dataset comprising both CFS patients and healthy volunteers, we derived a gene profile scoring metric to accurately classify CFS and healthy samples. This metric out-performed any of the reporter genes used individually as a classifier of CFS.To determine whether the reporter genes were robust across populations, we applied this metric to classify a separate blind dataset of mRNA relative quantities from a new population of CFS patients and healthy persons with limited success. Although the metric was able to successfully classify roughly two-thirds of both CFS and healthy samples correctly, the level of misclassification was high. We conclude many of the previously identified reporter genes are study-specific and thus cannot be used as a broad CFS diagnostic.

PMID:
21479222
PMCID:
PMC3068152
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0016872
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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