Cellular Immune Function in Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS)

In this study, herpes virus serological status and T cell, B cell, NK cell and monocyte populations were investigated in 251 ME/CFS patients, including 54 who were severely affected, and compared with those from 107 healthy participants and with 46 patients with Multiple Sclerosis. There were no differences in seroprevalence for six human herpes viruses between ME/CFS and healthy controls, although seroprevalence for the Epstein-Barr virus was higher in multiple sclerosis patients. Contrary to previous reports, no significant differences were observed in NK cell numbers, subtype proportions or in vitro responsiveness between ME/CFS patients and healthy control participants. In contrast, the T cell compartment was altered in ME/CFS, with increased proportions of effector memory CD8+ T cells and decreased proportions of terminally differentiated effector CD8+ T cells. Conversely, there was a significantly increased proportion of mucosal associated invariant T cells (MAIT) cells, especially in severely affected ME/CFS patients. These abnormalities demonstrate that an altered immunological state does exist in ME/CFS, particularly in severely affected people. This may simply reflect ongoing or recent infection, or may indicate future increased susceptibility to infection. Longitudinal studies of ME/CFS patients are needed to help to determine cause and effect and thus any potential benefits of immuno-modulatory treatments for ME/CFS. Introduction Myalgic encephalomyelitis (o...
Source: Frontiers in Immunology - Category: Allergy & Immunology Source Type: research

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