Herpesviruses Serology Distinguishes Different Subgroups of Patients From the United Kingdom ME/CFS Biobank (Domingues et al., 2021)

Pyrrhus

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Herpesviruses Serology Distinguishes Different Subgroups of Patients From the United Kingdom ME/CFS Biobank (Domingues et al., 2021)
https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fmed.2021.686736/full

Authors:
Tiago Dias Domingues, Anna D. Grabowska, Ji-Sook Lee, Jose Ameijeiras-Alonso, Francisco Westermeier, Carmen Scheibenbogen, Jacqueline M. Cliff, Luis Nacul, Eliana M. Lacerda, Helena Mouriño and Nuno Sepulveda

Excerpt:
Domingues et al 2021 said:
The evidence of an association between Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS) and chronic herpesviruses infections remains inconclusive. Two reasons for the lack of consistent evidence are the large heterogeneity of the patients' population with different disease triggers and the use of arbitrary cutoffs for defining seropositivity.

In this work we re-analyzed previously published serological data related to 7 herpesvirus antigens. Patients with ME/CFS were subdivided into four subgroups related to the disease triggers- S0: 42 patients who did not know their disease trigger; S1: 43 patients who reported a non-infection trigger; S2: 93 patients who reported an infection trigger, but that infection was not confirmed by a lab test; and S3: 48 patients who reported an infection trigger and that infection was confirmed by a lab test. In accordance with a sensitivity analysis, the data were compared to those from 99 healthy controls allowing the seropositivity cutoffs to vary within a wide range of possible values.

We found a negative association between S1 and seropositivity to Epstein-Barr virus (VCA and EBNA1 antigens) and Varicella-Zoster virus using specific seropositivity cutoff. However, this association was not significant when controlling for multiple testing. We also found that S3 had a lower seroprevalence to the human cytomegalovirus when compared to healthy controls for all cutoffs used for seropositivity and after adjusting for multiple testing using the Benjamini-Hochberg procedure. However, this association did not reach statistical significance when using Benjamini-Yekutieli procedure.

In summary, herpesviruses serology could distinguish subgroups of ME/CFS patients according to their disease trigger, but this finding could be eventually affected by the problem of multiple testing.
(spacing added and slight punctuation changes for readability)
 
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Pyrrhus

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I think this is a great example of excellent research that, unfortunately, generated no statistically significant results.

The authors deserve praise for their hard work and for publishing their results without spin. :thumbsup:
 
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a great example of excellent research that, unfortunately, generated no statistically significant results.
I had a couple of thoughts/remarks on what might create some ambivalence in these results. Or ambivalence in me....

the S-1 Group- report a non infection trigger, but likely all have in fact been exposed to infectious agents. (editted to add the comment that, say you had a whiplash injury- and developed subsequent ME issues. The infections you already had, maybe did contribute, but you only report the injury you noticed).

S-2 group (no lab test). Im in the ER, severely ill with gastro- issues and there is no Lab Test to identify what was that. Gosh I'd really like to know, since my health NEVER returned after this event.

I do commend this effort to look at this. Its just wearisome we try to find valid results from a massive pile of aged memories, subjectivity and what somebody recalls. If you've been sick for a long time, its doubtful you'd have any info to hand the researchers.

I was never given any valid tests in 1963. Or any other time since.