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Serological evidence of active infection with Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) was found in 25 of 124 patients (20%) with the post-viral fatigue syndrome (PVFS). In another study on the same group of patients around 50 % were found to have evidence of chronic enterovirus infection. No overlap was found between those patients with enterovirus infection and those with active EBV infection. We suggest that there are multiple causes of PVFS and that, in the absence of coexisting immunosuppressive disease which may itself reactivate the virus, EBV may be the aetiological agent in a predominantly female subgroup of patients with PVFS. Furthermore, the disease process in this subgroup may be immunopathological in nature.
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Accepted: October 2, 1988
© 1989 The British Society for the Study of Infection. Published by Elsevier Inc.