Journal of IiME Volume 2 Issue 1 www.investinme.org PROFILES of PRESENTERS at the IiME INTERNATIONAL ME/CFS CONFERENCE Dr John Chia Dr Chia is an infectious disease specialist practicing in Torrance, California, USA and has published research recently (Chronic fatigue syndrome associated with chronic enterovirus infection of the stomach) on the role of enteroviruses in the aetiolgy of ME/CFS – an area which has been implicated as one of the causes by a number of studies. There are more than 70 different types of enteroviruses that can affect the central nervous system, heart and muscles, all of which is consistent with the symptoms of ME/CFS. By analyzing samples of stomach tissue from 165 patients with CFS, Dr. Chia's team discovered that 82% of these individuals had high levels of enteroviruses in their digestive systems. Dr Chia's research may result in the development of antiviral drugs to treat the debilitating symptoms of ME/CFS. C Coonnffeerreennccee PPrreesseennttaatt iioonn T Thhee RRoollee ooff EEnntteerroovvii rruusseess IInnffeecctt iioonn iinn CCFFSS//MMEE JOHN K. CHIA, M.D., ANDREW Y. CHIA, B.S. EV Med Research, Lomita, CA. The aetiology of chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalomyelitis (CFS/ME) remains elusive after almost three decades of investigations. Enteroviruses (EV) are clear causes of acute respiratory and gastrointestinal infections, with tropism for the central nervous system, muscles and heart. Chronic EV infections were implicated as causes of CFS/ME by a few European investigators. Pioneer studies detected EV RNA sequences in the blood of CFS/ME patients, but the results were not replicated by other investigators. Observations from in vitro experiments and from animal models of EV infection, however, clearly established a state of chronic persistence through the formation of double stranded RNA, similar to findings reported in muscle biopsies of CFS/ME patients. Production of non-cytopathic viruses, with partial deletion of the 5’ untranslated region of the viral genome, was recently reported in mice with chronic EV myocarditis. Similar to the European studies, our recent data suggested that EV could be a major trigger/cause among the diverse etiologies for CFS/ME. Our studies confirmed EV RNA sequence in the peripheral blood leukocytes (PBL) taken from CFS/ME patients, and the relative frequency of RNA detection correlated with the severity of symptoms. In addition, administration of α-interferon and ribavirin or the combination of α-and γ-interferon to CFS/ME patients with persistent EV infection resulted in significant improvement of clinical symptoms and suppression of EV RNA. Symptomatic relapses and reappearance of EV RNA in PBL after drug discontinuation lend support to the pathogenic role of EV in these patients. Demonstration of EV capsid protein 1 in 82% of stomach biopsies taken from more than 250 CFS/ME patients, and the finding of EV RNA and the growth of non-cytopathic EV in the same tissues provided compelling evidence for persistent EV infection. Renewed interest is needed to further study the cause-effect relationship between viral persistence and clinical symptoms of CFS/ME. Controlled trials with future antiviral drugs will likely provide the ultimate evidence for the pathogenic role of EV in CFS/ME. Additional links for Dr Chia: • John Chia, Chronic fatigue syndrome is associated with chronic enterovirus infection of the stomach. J Clin Pathol. 2008 Jan;61(1):43-8. Epub 2007 Sep 13. PMID: 17872383 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE] Invest in ME (Charity Nr 1114035) Page 16

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