A Tufts University School of Medicine CFS researcher, Brigitte Huber, PhD, was awarded a grant from NIH. The grant will be used to study the presence of a specific retrovirus, HERV-K18, as a predictor for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome that follows a viral infection.
THe grant was awarded based on Brigitte Huber’s pilot study data that was funded for 2 years by the CFIDS Association of America. In Huber’s pilot study, she made the genetic comparisons between groups of CFS patients who had documented evidence of viral infection & heatlhy subjects. Huber was specifically looking for certain HERV-K18 alleles that differ in their superantigen activity. This shows the genetic aspect of the EBV/CFS association.
The study showed some major differences in the HERV-K18 alleles of the CFS subjects compared to the healthy ones. With this grant Huber will work to substantiate her pilot study results. she will have a much larger study group of 400 CFS patients to work with.
A positive connection between CFS & HERV-K18 alleles could open new doors for the development of clinical treatments for CFS.