Reactivation Of Herpes HHV-6 And EBV Is Associated With Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Implications For Long COVID!
A new study by researchers rom Julius Maximilian University of Würzburg-Germany, HHV-6 Foundation-United States and the Ohio State University-United States has found that reactivation of dormant HHV-6 and EBV viruses is associated with myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS).
The study findings also have implications in the aspect that many Long -COVID-19 patients tend to suffer from myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS).
According to the study team led by Dr Bhupesh K. Prusty, a virologist at Julius Maximilian University of Würzburg, “First exposure to various human herpesviruses (HHVs) including HHV-6, HCMV and EBV does not cause a life-threatening disease. In fact, most individuals are frequently unaware of their first exposure to such pathogens. These herpesviruses acquire lifelong latency in the human body where they show minimal genomic activity required for their survival. We hypothesized that it is not the latency itself but a timely, regionally restricted viral reactivation in a sub-set of host cells that plays a key role in disease development. “
He added, “HHV-6 (HHV-6A and HHV-6B) and HHV-7 are unique HHVs that acquire latency by integration of the viral genome into sub-telomeric region of human chromosomes.”
The study team said that HHV-6 reactivation has been linked to Alzheimer’s Disease, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and many other diseases. However, lack of viral activity in commonly tested biological materials including blood or serum strongly suggests tissue specific localization of active HHV-6 genome.
The study team attempted to analyze active HHV-6 transcripts in postmortem tissue biopsies from a small cohort of ME/CFS patients and matched controls by fluorescence in situ hybridization using a probe against HHV-6 microRNA (miRNA), miR-aU14.
The study findings showed abundant viral miRNA in various regions of the human brain and associated neuronal tissues including the spinal cord that is only detected in ME/CFS patients and not in controls.
The study findings provide evidence of tissue-specific active HHV-6 and EBV infection in ME/CFS, which along with recent work demonstrating a possible relationship between herpesvirus infection and ME/CFS, provide grounds for renewed discussion on the role of herpesviruses in ME/CFS.
The abstract study findings were published in the peer reviewed journal: Frontiers In Molecular Sciences.
Dr Bhupesh K. Prusty told Thailand Medical News
and also other media, “Our study findings suggest the presence of reactivated HHV-6 within spinal nerves along the spinal cord, possibly explaining ANS (autonomic nervous system)
dysfunction associated with ME/CFS.”
The study findings also have implications for Long COVID where many Post COVID individuals tend to suffer from long term chronic fatigue.
Already many studies have shown that SARS-CoV-2 infections also reactivates various dormant viruses in the human host including EBV, herpes viruses and also many other viruses.
Further studies are warranted to show the reactivation of dormant viruses as a result of SARS-CoV-2 infection and their association with myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS).
Dr Bhupesh K. Prusty can be followed at his twitter account:
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