Lessons from a pilot study of transfer factor in chronic fatigue syndrome


Transfer Factor (TF) was used in a placebo controlled pilot study of 20 patients with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). Efficacy of the treatment was evaluated by clinical monitoring and testing for antibodies to Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) and human herpes virus-6 (HHV-6). Of the 20 patients in the placebo-controlled trial, improvement was observed in 12 patients, generally within 3-6 weeks of beginning treatment. Herpes virus serology seldom correlated with clinical response. This study provided experience with oral TF, useful in designing a larger placebo-controlled clinical trial.

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chronic fatigue syndrome




Epstein-Barr virus


EBV-early antigens


EBV-Viral capsid antigen


human herpes virus-6


Herpes simplex virus


transfer factor


non-specific transfer factor




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Correspondence to Dr. Caterina De Vinci.

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De Vinci, C., Levine, P.H., Pizza, G. et al. Lessons from a pilot study of transfer factor in chronic fatigue syndrome. Biotherapy 9, 87–90 (1996). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02628663

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Key words

  • CMV
  • chronic fatigue syndrome
  • EBV
  • herpes viruses
  • HHV-6
  • transfer factor