2007 ME/CFS Research Forum

ME/CFS RESEARCH FORUM: 26-27 March 2007
University of Adelaide
Convenor: Alison Hunter Memorial Foundation

Abstract

Graves S, Unsworth N, Kemp G, Graham J & Stenos J


Markers of infection with Spotted Fever Group rickettsia in patients with chronic illness in two Australian populations.

Summary:
A cohort of 581 patients in Adelaide with chronic illness, including fatigue, had a positive SFG rickettsial seroprevalence of 41% [238/581]. A further cohort of 526 patients in Melbourne with chronic illness, including fatigue, had a positive SFG rickettsial seroprevalence of 39% [206/526]. The control groups {non-fatigued patients} from both studies had a rickettsial seroprevalence of only 10-15% [p<0.002].
The Melbourne patient group also had a 3% positivity for rickettsaemia [Rickettsia honei strain marmionii] as shown by real-time polymerase chain reaction detection of rickettsial citrate synthase gene [controls 0%].
It is not yet clear whether this relationship between rickettsial exposure/infection and CFS is a causal one, or whether these patients are simply reactivating a latent rickettsial infection acquired earlier in life.

 

Australian Rickettsial Reference Laboratory & Division of Microbiology, Hunter Area Pathology Service, Newcastle, NSW

 

 

Alison Hunter Memorial Foundation
PO Box 6132 North Sydney 2059 Australia
Phone/Fax +61 2 9958 6285

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