This is a brief update from Brunel University on the research that is being funded by the National Institutes of Health in America into the role of reactivation of herpes virus infections in ME/CFS and Long Covid.
“In our current project, we are performing a larger-scale prospective virologic study, with people with mild/moderate or severe ME/CFS alongside healthy people. We are asking our study participants to record their symptom severity frequently, so that we can determine whether changes in HHV-6B concentration in saliva occur before or after changes in ME/CFS symptoms.
“In this way, we aim to determine whether HHV-6B causes the symptom changes or if these occur after the disease gets worse. We are also investigating immune cell function in people with ME/CFS and/or Long COVID: specifically, we are looking at cytotoxic T cells, including their responses to stimulation and at the impact of HHV-6B on their interaction with other immune cells.
“We will gain a better understanding of the role of herpesviruses, particularly HHV-6B, in the onset and progression of ME/CFS and Long COVID, which will lead to the development of specific drug treatments, including anti-viral therapy and drugs to boost the immune system appropriately. It will also help with the development of diagnostic and prognostic markers for ME/CFS.”
The research is being led by two members of the UK ME/CFS Biobank team – Professor Jackie Cliff (Brunel University) and Dr Eliana Lacerda (London School of Tropical Medicine).
The ME Association Ramsay Research Fund provides funds to support the basic running costs of the UK ME/CFS Biobank
Dr Charles Shepherd
Trustee and Hon. Medical Adviser. The ME Association.