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T.b.v. zijn promotie onderzocht Kelly Thomas ME/CVS-patiŽnten en gezonde proefpersonen

op de aanwezigheid van luchtweginfecties en infecties die door teken overgedragen worden:

Borrelia afzelii/burgdorferi/garinii, Chlamydophila en Mycoplasma pneumoniae and Rickettsia.


De voornaamste bevindingen van het promotieonderzoek van Kelly zijn:

  • Bij de meeste patiŽnten en gezonde proefpersonen werd minstens ťťn infectie gevonden.
  • Bij ongeveer 1 op de 5 patiŽnten werden tekenen van minstens 3 infecties vastgesteld.
  • Meer dan de helft van de patiŽnten werd positief bevonden m.b.t. "tekeninfecties".
  • Zes procent van de patiŽnten werd positief bevonden t.a.v. Borrelia- als Rickettsia-subsoorten.


Voor de volledige tekst van het promotieonderzoek, klik op onderstaand logo:






Do certain microbiological pathogens cause or have a role in the aetiology

of the disease entity known as chronic fatigue syndrome?

Kelly, Thomas, 2014 April 14.

Masters Thesis, Master of Philosophy M.Phil

University of Sydney, Sydney Medical School, Discipline of Pharmacology








Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) is a varied and complex disorder

with a common set of core symptoms and a large array of secondary symptoms.


After more than four decades of research,

no causative factor has been identified and

more recently scientific opinion has shifted towards recognising

the presence of immune disruption within this disorder.


Underlying chronic infection has been advocated as a contributing factor to CFS,

yet its role and the extent of its impact are unconfirmed.


This study compares evidence of infections of two groups of CFS patients,

those with co-diagnoses of infections transmissible through tick bite (CFT subgroup), and

those without (CFX subgroup) compared to a healthy control group.





Blood samples were obtained from

eighty-eight CFS patients and twenty nine age and sex matched controls.


Forty-seven of the eighty eight CFS patients

did not have tick transmissible co-diagnoses, the CFX subgroup and

forty one did, the CFT subgroup.


Evidence of infection by

Borrelia afzelii,

Borrelia burgdorferi,

Borrelia garinii,

Chlamydophila pneumoniae,

Mycoplasma pneumoniae and

Rickettsia spp.

was tested for

through the use of PCR, nested PCR, western blot, ELISA and IFA.





82% of CFS participants had evidence of

exposure to at least one of the pathogens investigated

which was not significantly different to the control group (72%).


19% of CFS participants had evidence of exposure to 3 out of 4 pathogen species

compared to 3% of controls (p = 0.04).


There was a high level of exposure to Chlamydophila pneumonia

in both CFS (49%) and control groups (31%) and

similarly for Mycoplasma pneumoniae (46% of CFS and 62% of controls) and

was not significantly different between groups.


The high prevalence of positive serology for the respiratory pathogens observed in this study

is consistent with other research.


When comparison was made on tick-borne (TB) pathogens,

56% of CFS participants had exposure to at least one, compared to 14% of controls (p < 0.001).


Six percent of CFS participants had exposure to both Borrelia species and Rickettsia species

compared to 0% controls.


Exposure to at least one TB and one respiratory pathogen was significantly different

between CFS participants (40%) and controls (3%) (p > 0.001).


There was no identified significant difference between the two CFS groups.





The high prevalence of exposure to multiple pathogens within the test group

suggests some level of relationship between CFS and infective agents.


Each of the analysed bacterial pathogens

has been shown to be capable of developing chronic infections within hosts.


As hypothesised in previous studies,

the results of this study could contribute towards the argument that

chronic infections, as a result of contributing to immune dysregulation

over extended periods of time, may lead to fatiguing symptoms.


The conclusions that can be derived from serological results are limited

as they are a measure of immune response rather than clear isolation of bacteria, and

more specific forms of investigation using methods that directly measure pathogen levels

should be undertaken.


No difference was found between CFX and CFT subgroups,

indicating that levels of exposure to infection are similar throughout the CFS cohort.







Met dank aan Manja, ME-de-patiŽnte en correspondente ter velde.