Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: Searching for a Microbial Etiology

  • I. W. Fong
Part of the Emerging Infectious Diseases of the 21st Century book series (EIDC, volume 1)


Chronic fatigue syndrome [CFS] is a symptom complex of unknown cause which is commonly present in the population, and has been labeled as postinfectious neuromyasthenia for many decades. A microbial etiology has been considered for this disorder from the outset of its description as a distinct clinical entity. There is strong evidence that female sex and certain personality traits predispose to this condition. The link with infectious diseases is based on the acute onset of flu-like symptoms, subjective feelings of low grade fever, sore throat, myalgias, arthralgias, or generalized body pain. Various infectious synonyms have been applied to this disorder such as chronic brucellosis, chronic Epstein–Barr virus, and chronic Lyme disease syndromes, but no good evidence to support a causative role has been found. The current understanding of the pathogenesis is discussed and previous investigations to determine an infectious etiology, including studies on coxsackie virus and the murine retrovirus and others.


Irritable Bowel Syndrome Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Multiple Chemical Sensitivity Functional Somatic Syndrome Sick Building Syndrome 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • I. W. Fong
    • 1
  1. 1.University of TorontoTorontoCanada

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