Treatment of Autoimmunity

Immunologic Research

, Volume 56, Issue 2, pp 398-412

First online:

Immunostimulation in the treatment for chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalomyelitis

  • Amy D. ProalAffiliated withAutoimmunity Research Foundation
  • , Paul J. AlbertAffiliated withWeill Cornell Medical College
  • , Trevor G. MarshallAffiliated withAutoimmunity Research FoundationMurdoch University
  • , Greg P. BlaneyAffiliated withStillpoint Centre
  • , Inge A. LindsethAffiliated withAutoimmunity Research Foundation4M-klinikken Email author 

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Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS)/myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME) has long been associated with the presence of infectious agents, but no single pathogen has been reliably identified in all patients with the disease. Recent studies using metagenomic techniques have demonstrated the presence of thousands of microbes in the human body that were previously undetected and unknown to science. More importantly, such species interact together by sharing genes and genetic function within communities. It follows that searching for a singular pathogen may greatly underestimate the microbial complexity potentially driving a complex disease like CFS/ME. Intracellular microbes alter the expression of human genes in order to facilitate their survival. We have put forth a model describing how multiple species—bacterial, viral, and fungal—can cumulatively dysregulate expression by the VDR nuclear receptor in order to survive and thus drive a disease process. Based on this model, we have developed an immunostimulatory therapy that is showing promise inducing both subjective and objective improvement in patients suffering from CFS/ME.


Chronic fatigue syndrome Microbiome Immunostimulation Immunopathology Infection