Ramsay Research Team 5 – The Potential Role of HHV-6 in ME/CFS

team-5This study from Dr. Bhupesh Prusty (Julius Maximilian University of Wurzburg) is entitled “HHV-6 Mediated Mitochondrial Modulation and Its Association to ME/CFS.”

While the precise role of pathogens in the development of myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) remains mostly uncharacterized, human herpesvirus 6 (HHV-6) is frequently associated with the disease (as well as several other diseases).

Originally, the integration of HHV-6 into human chromosomes in order to achieve latency was thought to be the dead end for the virus. However, recent publications demonstrate that certain timely triggers like circumstances of immune suppression or the influence of various drugs and/or pathogenic infections can activate this virus.

This study’s preliminary work shows that HHV-6 targets the cell’s energy reserve, the mitochondria, during

both active infection and activation from latency leading to mitochondrial dysfunction—a condition also frequently associated with ME/CFS.

This new study aims to identify the contributing factor from HHV-6 that is directly responsible for the signaling processes leading to host cell mitochondrial changes and link HHV-6 and mitochondrial changes using ME/CFS patient materials. This would further understanding of the root causes of ME/CFS. Molecular mechanisms behind direct association between HHV-6 and human mitochondria have never been studied before.

The anticipated outcome of this pioneering research idea is clarification of a novel, infection-induced mechanism for the onset and/or progression of ME/CFS that will open new targets for drug development.

Noted Dr. Prusty, “Without prior spotlight in the ME/CFS research community, it is extremely difficult to acquire funding to continue our work. Funding from Solve ME/CFS Initiative, which recognizes and promotes young investigators and novel innovative research ideas, came just at the right time, and we greatly appreciate this award.”

Read this study’s abstract here: https://solvecfs.org/hhv-6-mediated-mitochondrial-modulation-and-its-possible-association-to-mecfs/