Immunity & infection

Several immune abnormalities – most notably natural killer cell dysfunction – have been identified in ME/CFS patients. Other countries are racing to replicate the success of a small Norwegian trial of the auto-immune drug rituximab.

The role that pathogens play in ME/CFS is controversial. Although the disease is often triggered by an infection some researchers believe the triggering infection is simply the last stressor that tipped the patient over into disease.

Others believe that undiagnosed and untreated infections from pathogens such as EBV, HHV-6A, enteroviruses, Borrelia (Lyme disease) and others are playing a major role in the disease.

Still others believe that endocrine and immune dysfunctions caused early in the disease set the stage for latent viruses to reactivate themselves. While these viruses may or may not cause ME/CFS, they could exacerbate its symptoms greatly.

Given the wide variety of ME/CFS patients it’s possible that all the above scenarios are correct, but for different patients.

Several doctors regularly use antiviral and immunomodulatory drugs or supplements in their practices. The distinction isn’t always clearcut: some antiviral and antibiotic drugs have immunomodulatory properties.

Some drugs have worked very well for some patients, somewhat well in others, and not at all in others. Few studies of the effectiveness of these drugs, however, have been done.

6 comments
Enid May 14, 2013 at 5:33 am

What a marvellous and concise article, pinpointing the essential – being Immune abnormalities. It’s been a long twelve years for me and those in the UK awaiting medicine to catch up here.

Lorraine December 11, 2013 at 6:55 pm

Great to find this site after struggling 15yrs with CFS and now Leukopenia which I realise now is connected to the two auto immune conditions i have (coeliac and Fibromyalgia) Thankyou !

monica December 13, 2013 at 4:00 am

Very good article. I sometimes use this page to explain to people what the potential meds are for people with M.E. Hope that’s o.k. with you?
Here in The Netherlands research is very much behind (no serious research), but I am trying to change that. Thank you for the information!!
There is not so much unclear about M.E./cfs. Can’t we combine the research that has been done and just declare:

M.E. is a neurological immune disease caused by one or several (viral) infections.

A clear statement will help us not having to explain ourselves, and being taken more seriously! What can we add to this definition?

greetings Monica

Todd Larson March 4, 2015 at 2:53 am

I have been living with CFIDS for at least 27 years now. I am 52. Because of multiple cases of pneumonia and my low IGG and it’s subclasses, my doctors started giving me injections(and occasional IV) immunoglobulins. I have been on this therapy, weekly, for 7+ years now. My doctor would give me a pneumococcal vaccine and check my immune response, before and after, for antibodies. The lack of antibodies confirmed my condition and the need for the treatments. I believe those shots/IV have saved my life several times now. I am grateful to be alive!
Todd in South Florida

veronica May 26, 2015 at 3:27 pm

Ive been diagnosised. So many times.Started SINUS INFECTION.Then went to pnenomia.put on cipro ..levquin.prediaone.Paralyze.from shoulders dwn.put on gamma ivig.had a reaction yr later.took me off of cipro lwvequin weened off of predisone .now GBS CAM IN..AND NAFD..ORGANS SHUT dwn was up for liver transplant.Got better off of meds.Three yrs later was walking.driving.Cant swim yet..Tendon damage…had another reaction to Ivig.switch to previgen..got alot better no headaches.muscle spasms.off of bacolefen..went for lymphnode byopsy found a fungal infection.aternardia..went on VFEND.doxycycline.was fine..told to wear masks.was CIDP…FOUND OUT the hospital switch ivig to.GAMMA asked why they said under contract.I called mfg.She said no.not on reaccurance of infections.previgen is the one…She things CVID…but also suggested Bivicam.Hormonal plus a little sodiun but sugar free.IM ASKING how can I get my drs to understand theres a difference in ivig.Plus I have a immune problem.To look at the whole picture.Please help

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