Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Caused by Virus?

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In various medical studies and articles recently released there is a possible link between the xenotropic murine leukemia virus-related virus (XMRV) and Chronic Fatigue Syndrom (CFS).  This virus is a retrovirus similar to HIV and quite pervasive.  Some studies show that 67% of people with CFS had XMRV and other studies showed different results or a variation or similar virus to XMRV in CFS patients.

In an article on the Wall Street Journal about the link between Retoviruses and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome potential treatments would be the same type of HIV cocktails.  The article even mentions that AABB, a Bethesda, Md. which is a blood donation collection company is advising that people with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome stop donating blood until a link can be clearly determined.  If CFS is caused by XMRV, then it is transmittable via blood transfusion just as HIV is and would pose the same risks of infecting others with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

There are so many virus that live and exist in the human body and scientists still don’t have clear understanding of which ones are benign and which ones actually cause diseases and illnesses.  This same MLV related viruses were also potentially linked to Prostate Cancer patients as patients had similar viruses. 

Interesting things happen at the cellular and viral level in biology and because it takes decades of controlled studies it can be quite difficult to determine the side effects and symptoms caused by such viruses.

-Justin Germino

Updated: September 15, 2010 — 5:00 am