E DeFreitas, B Hilliard, P R Cheney, D S Bell, E Kiggundu, D Sankey, Z Wroblewska, M Palladino, J P Woodward, and H Koprowski, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, Vol. 88, pp. 2922-2926, April 1991, Medical Sciences:
Chronic fatigue immune dysfunction syndrome (CFIDS) is a recently recognized illness characterized by debilitating fatigue as well as immunological and neurological abnormalities [Straus, S.E. (1988) J. Inf. Dis. 157, 405-412]. Once thought to be caused by Epstein-Barr virus, it is now thought to have a different but unknown etiology. We evaluated 30 adult and pediatric CFIDS patients from six eastern states for the presence of human T-lymphotropic virus (HTLV) types I and II by Western immunoblotting, polymearse chain reaction, and in situ hybridization of blood samples. The majority of patients were positive for HTLV antibodies by Western blotting and for HTLV-II gag sequences by polymerase chain reaction and in situ hybridization. Twenty nonexposure healthy controls were negative in all assays. These data support an association between an HTLV-II-like virus and CFIDS.