"Stealth Virus Encephalopathy"
Abstract of Presentation at the Complementary Medicine
in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome National Consensus Conference

Darling Harbour Convention Centre
February 18-19, 1995

Presentor: W. John Martin, MB, BS, PhD

Viruses which produce a characteristic cell cytopathic effect (CPE) in fibroblast cultures have been termed "stealth viruses" because they induce disease without evoking an inflammatory response. DNA sequencing performed on a prototype stealth virus isolated from a CFS patient has revealed regions of partial sequence homology to cytomegaloviruses (CMV). The viral genome is unstable and, when compared to human CMV, shows evidence for widespread genetic mutations and deletions leading to paucity of antigens responsible for anti-viral inflammation. Molecularly heterogenous viruses which produce a similar CPE have been cultured from the blood and cerebrospinal fluid from other CFS patients as well as from patients with severe neurological and psychiatric illnesses. These findings suggest that certain cases of CFS are due to stealth virus encephalopathy and should be included within a spectrum of potential infectious neurological diseases.


Martin WJ, Zeng LC, Ahmed K, and Roy M. (1994) Cytomegalovirus related sequence detected in an atypical cytopathic virus repeatedly isolated from the patient with chronic fatigue syndrome. Am. J. Path. 145:440-451.

Martin WJ. (1994) Stealth viruses as neuropathogens. CAP Today 8:67-70

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