Epstein-Barr virus has been a big controversy over the years regarding its involvement or role in ME/CFS. Is it one of the main causes? Has this virus that infects 98% of the population somehow singled out those of us with weakened immune systems, other viruses (XMRV, for example), and turned our bodies into forever chaotic messes? When I was going to the Fibromyalgia & Fatigue Centers in Philadelphia, the doctor there told me that I had chronic recurrent EBV and she said that this is something commonly seen in ME/CFS patients. She had started me on a treatment of valacyclovir and was hoping to see an improvement in my overall EBV titers and my energy levels. But the medication at that time was extremely expensive, I couldn’t continue buying it every month along with all of the other medications they had me on.
Here is the study information, as provided by ProHealth:
Purpose: Beginning in 1993 at a single chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) treatment center, we began studies that demonstrate Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) nonpermissive replication.
In the most recent study performed, EBV nonpermissive replication:
• Is the cause of 28.3% of 106 consecutive CFS cases,
• And is etiologic with human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) and/or human herpes virus 6 (HHV-6) as a coinfection in an additional 52.8% of CFS cases.
Therefore EBV is causally involved in 81% of cases of CFS.
Further, EBV CFS is effectively treated with long-term valacyclovir. Coinfection HCMV and HHV-6 CFS requires valganciclovir with valacyclovir.
Patients and Results:
The validated Energy Index Point Score(r) (EIPS(r)) monitors severity of CFS illness and its recovery.
A specific CFS diagnostic panel identifies EBV CFS subsets.
Four separate EBV CFS therapeutic studies of several hundred CFS patients describe valacyclovir administration and long-term patient recovery.
With valacyclovir, serum EBV titers (EBV, early antigen (diffuse); EBV, viral capsid antigen, immunoglobulin M); 24-hour electro- cardiography Holter monitors; and cardiac dynamic studies improve.
Nonpermissive EBV infection is causal in a significant proportion of CFS cases. EBV CFS is safely and effectively treated with long-term valacyclovir.