Immunologic Research

, Volume 56, Issue 2, pp 398–412

Immunostimulation in the treatment for chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalomyelitis


  • Amy D. Proal
    • Autoimmunity Research Foundation
  • Paul J. Albert
    • Weill Cornell Medical College
  • Trevor G. Marshall
    • Autoimmunity Research Foundation
    • Murdoch University
  • Greg P. Blaney
    • Stillpoint Centre
    • Autoimmunity Research Foundation
    • 4M-klinikken
Treatment of Autoimmunity

DOI: 10.1007/s12026-013-8413-z

Cite this article as:
Proal, A.D., Albert, P.J., Marshall, T.G. et al. Immunol Res (2013) 56: 398. doi:10.1007/s12026-013-8413-z


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 syndromeMicrobiomeImmunostimulationImmunopathologyInfection

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013