Viral Infections

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Types of Virus
Replication Methods
     HERV-K18 and Herpesviruses EBV and HHV-6
     Stealth-Adapted Viruses
West Nile Virus (WNV)
Swine Flu H1N1
RNase-L Overactivation
Various Possible Triggers Implicated In CFS
Anti-Viral Treatments
     Antiviral Herbs
     Dennis Gersten's Generic Antiviral Protocol
     Damien Downing's Swine Flu Protocol
     Breakspear Medical's Swine Flu Protocol
     Antiviral Drugs


A virus is a protein, and is not technically speaking alive. Viruses have existed on the planet as long as life itself, most likely formed from the same amino acids that formed the DNA of original species of bacteria etc. in the 'primordial soup'. It is believed that viruses may even have predated life on this planet, and many viral species can be found in the hot volcanic springs which emulate some of the earliest environments on the planet. Viruses have adapted to life and life and cellular immune defenses have adapted according to viruses. Viruses have historically provided a means of natural selection and a drive for evolution and adaptation. Life might look very different today without the historical presence of viruses. Viruses replicate by invading a cell and using the DNA or RNA in the cell to replicate copies of itself, and when significant numbers of the virus have been produced by the cell, it bursts the cell open, thereby killing the cell and releasing many copies of itself which can go on to infect other cells. Viruses can for all intents and purposes not replicate outside of a host cell. Viruses tend to target certain types of cells, and their method of transmission varies.

The body is constantly being bombared with very small numbers of different strains of viruses. The average person has approximately 4 different viruses that he is fighting off at any one given moment. During a person's lifetime we may have fought off 1000 different types or strains of virus. We only notice that we have a viral infection if we observe the symptoms of a cold or flu (respiratory viruses) and occasionally stomach flu (enteroviruses), when viral replication levels reach a significant level.

Whilst most people consider the cold or flu to be relatively benign, these viruses did kill many Native Americans when they were introduced newly into the Americas, as there was little immunity. It is when we are exposed to a new type of virus for which we have no resistance that it is most dangerous. The most dangerous types of viruses are those which have jumped the species barrier, from animals to humans. There are an enormous number of animal or plant viruses in the environment, but they function on a lock and key basis, and will only latch onto the protein fingers from cells that match the virus. A virus is therefore dedicated to a certain class of organism. The average mouthful of sea water is full of viruses which are harmless to humans but which can infect plankton etc. Humans are rarely subjected to animal viruses. Most animal viruses that mutate and jump the species barrier seem to originate from the tropical rain forests of the Congo region, which are very warm, humid and full of an enormous diversity of animal life. Such environments are the most likely places for viruses to mutate and jump species. With the increase in international trade and travel, particularly air travel, in our globalised economy and world, viruses are able to spread very quickly, particularly in the case of respiratory viruses. Of course, the viruses that we associate with the cold and flu do continually mutate and rendering many people more susceptible to them, but not so much as to actually kill them in the vast majority of cases.

We often think that when we become will with a cold or flu, the cold or flu virus is the cause. This is however only part of the big picture. When we have 'caught' a virus, what has happened in the body is that our immune system is unable to stamp it out effectively, allowing the virus to proliferate in a local area or throughout the body. The presence of small traces of viral DNA in the body does not necessarily mean one will 'catch a virus' and indeed a good immune system will simply keep them at bay or eradicate them. Viruses are destroyed by strong sunlight and tend to survive much better in damp, humid and cooler climates, so circulating viruses may circulate longer during the winter in some countries. Respiratory viruses spread most readily in urban conditions with shared faciities, e.g. supermarket trolleys, buses, door handles, public telephones, tube trains etc. and touching such a surface then shortly afterwards touching the face, mouth or nose may result in the virus entering the system if it is not there already.

One cause of 'catching' a virus is therefore a weak or impaired immune system, which can be the result of a large number of factors, as can be seen on the Immune System page. The symptoms we experience are the actual effects of the virus, and also the body's attempt to fight the virus. The flu-like headache and fatigue is our immune system being activated and attacking large numbers of foreign objects and the symptoms of running sinus passages and excessive mucus production (in the cold/flu) are a result of the action of the virus, in general terms. Of course flu-like headaches can be caused by other factors in CFS.

As viruses are not alive, they can therefore not be killed off with antibiotics. Ironically, General Practitioners do give out antibiotics when they are not sure if an illness is a virus or a bacterial infection - if nothing happens after taking antibiotics, then it is not bacterial. However, antibiotics, as discussed on the Bacterial page, destroy our body's beneficial bacteria (which act as part of its immune system) as well as the bad bacteria. A virus is not a living organism, but a type of protein that self-replicates by infecting a cell and instructing the cell's nucleus to create more of the virus protein. These are then released from the cell, which go on to infect other cells, unless they are gobbled up by our white blood cells or attacked by our other immune system proteins, for removal by the liver. An impaired liver can clearly make the job of fighting a viral infection that much harder.

A virus or bacterial infection may often be the trigger for CFS. However, as discussed elsewhere, it is not usually the root cause of CFS, but merely acts to overstrain an overwise overstrained and weak body and immune system, resulting in the final, more noticeable symptoms of non-recovery from a severe viral episode. As discussed on the Immune System page, the possibility of a severe bacterial or viral episode or repeated episodes progressively cause a greater shift in the Nitric Oxide cycle until the final infection that pushes one into full blown 'CFS' may be what we are observing in some CFS cases - the actual virus no longer being an active protagonist in the condition but the results of that infection being the actual mechanics and manifestation of CFS.

Whilst the runny nose and cough may disappear after a few months (much longer than it usually should take to clear up in a healthy person), the flu-like headache and fatigue may remain, and eventually fade to an extent, but reappear when one has overexerted oneself physically or mentally, taking days or weeks to recover from afterwards.

This section is not primarily concerned with flu viruses as triggers for CFS but with specific retrovirus, herpesvirus and stealth-adapted virus strains, that have been detected in some individuals with CFS (but not all) - perhaps remnants of severe viral infections that the body has not completely eliminated; and treatment methods for viral infections.

As can be seen from the sections below, no one virus or bacterial infection is present in all CFS patients or patients with related disorders. To treat CFS as a single type of condition and to look for one single immune system trigger would be somewhat misguided, although further research into the pathology of the various viruses and micro-organism infections is of course useful with regards to getting a full diagnostic picture on a case-by-case basis.

Traces of viruses can be observed as foreign DNA/RNA in cell membrane analysis. Please see the Identification page for more information.

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Types of Viruses:

There are many varieties and strains of virus. A small number are considered below.

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Replication Methods:

There are 3 main methods of replication of viral material:

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As described above, a Retrovirus is an RNA virus that uses the Reverse Transcriptase enzyme in order to produce DNA from its RNA genome. That DNA is subsequently incorporated into the host cell's nuclear DNA genome using the Integrase enzyme. The virus thereafter replicates itself as part of the host cell's DNA. Retroviruses are enveloped viruses and belong to the Retroviridae virus family. Retroviruses are classified according to the following criteria, either as Exogenous or Endogenous.

'When retroviruses have integrated their own genome into the germ line, their genome is passed on to a following generation. These endogenous retroviruses (ERVs), contrasted with exogenous ones, now make up 5-8% of the human genome.[3] Most insertions have no known function and are often referred to as "junk DNA". However, many endogenous retroviruses play important roles in host biology, such as control of gene transcription, cell fusion during placental development in the course of the germination of an embryo, and resistance to exogenous retroviral infection. Endogenous retroviruses have also received special attention in the research of immunology-related pathologies, such as autoimmune diseases like multiple sclerosis, although endogenous retroviruses have not yet been proven to play any causal role in this class of disease. The role of endogenous retroviruses in human gene evolution is explored in a 2005 peer-reviewed article. While transcription was classically thought to only occur from DNA to RNA, reverse transcriptase transcribes RNA into DNA. The term "retro" in retrovirus refers to this reversal (making DNA from RNA) of the central dogma of molecular biology. Reverse transcriptase activity outside of retroviruses has been found in almost all eukaryotes, enabling the generation and insertion of new copies of retrotransposons into the host genome. These inserts are transcribed by enzymes of the host into new RNA molecules that enter the cytosol. Next, some of these RNA molecules are translated into viral proteins. For example, the gag gene is translated into molecules of the capsid protein, the pol gene is transcribed into molecules of reverse transcriptase, and the env gene is translated into molecules of the envelope protein. It is important to note that a retrovirus must "bring" its own reverse transcriptase in its capsid, otherwise it is unable to utilize the enzymes of the infected cell to carry out the task, due to the unusual nature of producing DNA from RNA.'

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HERV-K18 and the Herpes Viruses EBV and HHV-6:

Brigitte Huber, PhD, of Tufts University School of Medicine, presented evidence suggesting that a reactivated ancient retrovirus (HERV-K18) embedded in the human gnome may be active in CFS and Multiple Sclerosis (MS) patients. Danish scientists have also suggested that the activation of this retrovirus, dormant in healthy individuals, may be caused by two common viruses, EBV (Epstein-Barr virus) and HHV-6 (Human Herpesvirus 6), both members of the herpes virus family, could perhaps explain why autoimmune conditions worsen with the onset of common viral infections. However, this could also be on account of a confused and dysfunctional immune system (perhaps caused by heavy metal toxicity and electromagnetic deficiency) being put under more strain on account of a new viral episode.

Is a Retrovirus in Our DNA Responsible for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome & Multiple Sclerosis? from

The EBV and HHV-6 viruses are responsible for a large number of different types of viral infection. It interacts with a number of herpes viruses and the AIDS virus. They can can also remain dormant in an individual's cells throughout a person's life, reactivating at some point during adulthood after an initial childhood viral infection, for example. HHV-6 was discovered in 1986 by Dr Robert Gallo, the co-discoverer of HIV. HHV-6 is actually more damaging to the cells of the immune system, nervous system and the brain than AIDS.

For discussion of Stealth-Adapted Virsues perhaps playing a large part in HIV developing into AIDS, please see the Stealth-Adapted Viruses section below.

EBV is discussed at the links below.

HHV-6 is discussed at the links below.

'One way that HHV-6 and Epstein-Barr virus cause illness is by thickening the blood ever so slightly, a state called "hypercoagulation." Hypercoagulation accomplishes two things for the virus. First, when the blood is thicker, it is more difficult for our immune system to suppress these viruses. Viruses thrive in thicker blood. Second, thicker blood prevents maximum delivery of oxygen and nutrients at the cellular level. Hemex Laboratory in Arizona specializes in coagulation studies. The test recommended for CFS and other viral related illnesses is their ISAC [Immuno Solid-phase Allergen Chip] test. There are several ways to thin the blood if hypercoagulation is diagnosed, including low dose heparin.'

There are alternative blood thining agents to the drug heparin, such as the herb Red Clover Blossom.

HHV-6B is the more common type of herpesvirus, found in most children, which is able to penetrate the blood brain barrier into the brain. HHV-6A is the less common strain of herpesvirus, which is not so easily able to penetrate the brain. Significant levels of the HHV-6A strain have been found in the spinal fluid of many CFS patients. Results are however somewhat inconclusive. However it does suggest immune dysfunction is at least a cause of result of CFS.

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'Xenotropic murine leukemia virus-related virus', a.k.a. XMRV, is a type of gammaretrovirus. Gammaretroviruses are a genus of the Retroviridae family, many of which contain Oncogenes and cause sarcomas (cancer of bone and connective tissue) and Leukemias (cancer of the bone marrow). Oncogenes are a type of gene that, when expressed at high levels or when mutated, can turn a normal, healthy cell into a tumor cell instead of undergoing apoptosis (cell death) when it is too old.

XMRV has a single-stranded genome that replicates through a DNA intermediate. Its name derives from its similarity to the category of Murine Leukemia Viruses (MuLVs). The genome is 95% identical to several endogenous and 93-94% identical with several exogenous mice retroviruses. XMRV has been isolated from human blood/tissue samples and several reports associate this virus with familial and sporadic prostate cancer.

XMRV was first formally identified in 2006 by Joseph DeRisi and Robert Siliverman in the USA. They identified a mutation in RNase L production (R462Q) in 2002 that resulted in a 50% increase in risk of developing prostate cancer. An expanded study found it present in 40% of tumors homozygous for R462Q and only 1.5% of those not. However, another 2009 study found an XMRV infection in 23% subjects independent of RNase L gene variation. Studies in Germany found that no XMRV-specific sequences in the DNA or RNA of prostate cancer patient samples; and no XMRV assoication with non-familiial (sporadic) prostate cancer. A study of Irish prostate cancer patients also found no evidence of R462Q mutation. So whilst there may be an increased risk from having two R462Q genes, there is no definite link between XMRV and Prostate cancer, merely increased probability in certain studies. The method of transmission of XMRV is not fully understood, whether sexually transmitted or otherwise.

The July 2009 study of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome patients published in Science journal found XMRV in 67% of a group of 101 CFS patients but in only 4% of heathy controls. The authors suggested that XMRV may cause CFS or be a passenger co-infection, but the results were hardly conclusive, i.e. some healthy controls having the virus, and nearly a third of CFS patients studied not having the virus at all.

To state that it may have caused CFS in those individuals who were found to carry it, and not in other individuals with CFS who had not; or to be a passenger or secondary infection in those individuals with impaired immune systems (i.e. a downstream effect of CFS) would have been more accurate. Perhaps it says little about the 67% of CFS patients studied apart from the fact that they have weak immune systems and are twice as likely to develop prostate cancer (in the males). We know from other studies that CFS patients are more likely to develop cancer or die from heart disease at an earlier age than the average 'healthy' member of the population.

Follow up studies of other retroviruses identified with some cases of CFS were not included in the study. Additional studies of the 67% of CFS patients who had the virus vs the 33% of CFS patients to determine what other factors might be relevant would also have been extremely useful, including what other viruses might be implicated and if toxicity and Nitric Oxide pathways were issues etc.

Lombardi VC, Ruscetti FW, Das Gupta J, et al. (October 2009). "Detection of an Infectious Retrovirus, XMRV, in Blood Cells of Patients with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome". Science 326 (5952): 585-9

Since the publication of this study, the virus has been identified in 98% of a sample of 300 CFS patients. Further studies and larger sample sizes would presumably be necessary to derive more meaningful results. Is a sample of CFS patients ever really 'representative' of the 'average' CFS patient? Statistics are misleading. On a different note, Paul Cheney found PFOs (a heart condition) present in nearly all the patients tested at his clinic, but these appear to to be totally unrepresentative of CFS patients as a whole outside of his clinic.

Of course, as no practical test for XMRV is available at blood donation clinics, then currently blood received is not screened for XMRV, so if you believe that the above figures are representative of the population as a whole, then there is a significant chance that you could pick up XMRV from a blood transfusion at this point in time. However, if you need blood, you need blood; and indeed XMRV may well be more prevalent in the population as a whole than we know. The same goes for Stealth-Adapted Viruses, those discovered recently and indeed those yet to be discovered. Of course, people are advised not to panic, as pannicking is not going to do anyone any good, but medical authorities always like to give people the impression that everything they provide is safe, which from a historical perspective, we know this is never true (in absolute terms) and likely never will be! Drug treatments for XMRV are not yet available and are being developed at present.

Disorders related to the XMRV virus, known as 'XMRV Associated Neuro-Immune Disorder', covers a variety of possible conditions, such as Prostate Cancer, CFIDS and Fibromyalgia. However, its precise role in any of these conditions has not yet been established so it is perhaps early to use such a term.

Dr Jacob Teitelbaum argues that XRMV is just one of many infectious agents identified in CFS patients, including herpesviruses, bacterial infections, parasites and others; and that the focus on viral infections being a 'cause' of CFS is a bias from the pharmaceutical industry towards selling antiviral drugs. I cannot comment on whether any of the researchers in the above studies have pharmaceutical company backing or not, but it may simply reflect a bias in approach and a reductionist approach and a desire for a simple answer to a complex problem.

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Stealth-Adapted Viruses:

A 'Stealth-Adapted Virus' is a term coined by John Martin, M.D. PhD in 2001 to describe a subclass of Retrovirus that is unique in that it causes Cytopathic damage. The term stealth-adapted virus is used to describe cell damaging (cytopathic) viruses that lack genes coding for antigens targeted by the cellular immune system. Infection with stealth-adapted viruses do not evoke the inflammatory reaction typical of most cytopathic viruses. Missing antigenic proteins enable stealth viruses to escape recognition by the immune system. Atypically-structured cell-damaging viruses were initially proposed by W. John Martin, M.D., Ph.D., who introduced the term 'stealth viruses' to highlight their evasion of effective immune recognition. Stealth viruses can lie dormant in an individual for years or perhaps an entire lifetime, like other Retroviruses, without exhibiting any symptoms and unknowningly passing the virus onto others.

Cytopathic Effect (CPE) is defined below:

'Cytopathic effect (CPE) (or Cytopathogenic effect) refers to degenerative changes in cells, especially in tissue culture, associated with the multiplication of certain viruses. When in tissue culture, the spread of virus is restricted by an overlay of agar (or other suitable substance) and thus the cytopathic effect may lead to formation of viral plaque.'

John Martin points out the possible risk of the Polio virus cultures, based on African Green monkey kidneys, being a carrier for the Simian Cytomegalovirus (SCMV) found in African Green Monkeys - the human version being Human Cytomegalovirus (HCMV). John Martin has also pointed out the connection between Stealth-Adapted Viruses and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome-like illnesses and HIV patients.

Dr George Lewis and Dr John Martin at The Center for Complex Infectious Disease have been conducting trials on possible treatments for Stealth-Adapted Viruses, including Anti-Herpesvirus drugs; as well as neurological supplementation such as SAM, Creatine, Betaine, Folic Acid, B6, B12 and NADH, which are frequently used by those with Mitochondrial and Methylation problems, such as CFS, ME and Fibromyalgia patients.

Other studies have implicated HCMV and HHV-8 as potentially having major roles in the development of AIDS from those HIV positive patients. The role of Herpesviruses in the onset of AIDS is discussed above in the HERV-K18 section.

Indeed some contrarian commentators have suggested that AIDS and indeed HIV are both totally curable using a variety of immune system boosting protocols and natural approaches, to fight the secondary viral infections that often trigger AIDS, as well as the HIV virus itself. Dr Richard Schulze, a medical herbalist, has himself claimed to have cured a number of patients of 'incurable' viral infections such as AIDS and Hepatitis. Whether one believes this is true or not, one should at least try to find out a little more information and investigate these claims, which assuming they were true, would not be commented on by pharmaceutical companies that manufacture expensive AIDS medication.

Spumavirus (a.k.a. foamyvirus) is a virus genus of the retroviridae family. It is also classified as being a Stealth-Adapted Virus, and has been detected in CFS patients, according to CFS Ireland below.

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In 2007, it was found in a sample group, that 82% of 165 CFS patients had evidence of a chronic enterovirus infection, compared with only 20% of non-patients. This does not prove necessarily that the enterovirus was behind the CFS condition, but that those patients with lowered immune systems were more susceptible to infection or remnants of an infection persisting which may have exaccerbated their already ill health somewhat.

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West Nile Virus (WNV):

West Nile Virus (WNV) is a type of Flaviviridae, a class of RNA viruses that spreads through arthropod vectors (mainly ticks and mosquitoes.

Some CFS cases have been observed to be instigated by incidences of the West Nile Virus. Treatment using anti-viral herbs has considerably helped certain such cases.

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Swine Flu (H1N1):

There is a large amount of concern about the highly publicised Swine Flu (H1N1) in 2009. There is no known link between CFS and Swine Flu. However, as this is a topical issue, it is briefly mentioned here.

Swine Flu is a pandemic virus which means that it can affect the young as well as old. It is estimated that nearly everyone will at one stage or other will fight off the Swine Flu virus, in mild incidents, with fatalities only affecting a small minority - you being more likely to be run over crossing the road, or indeed die of complications from the influenza virus. Approximately 1 in every 4000 cases results in fatality according to 2009 statistics, so it is much less 'dangerous' than first anticipated. It appears that during the 2009 pandemic, most of the population has already had the virus, with no more severity of symptoms than any other influenza virus, and the number of fatalities are relatively quite low, lower than the 'regular' flu virus. However, it is the severity of those small number of cases that go beyond the normal pattern of the viral infection that has gotten the media and government's attention (perhaps with a little pressure from the pharmaceutical companies that manufacture the antiviral drugs a cynic might argue), and perhaps has been blown out of all proportion. At the time of writing and release of the Vaccine, it is perhaps too late to administer it as most people have now already had the virus; assuming it was 'safe' in the first place.

The Swine flu seems to afflict the chest in severe cases, and it is documented that secondary bacterial chest infections are usually the actual cause of deaths. One can therefore look to using a bacterial vaccine such as Pneumovax II, which is a vaccine against Meningitis and Pneumonia. This does not contain Mercury or Formaldehyde preservatives but Phenol which can be broken down by the body. Your doctor or practitioner should be able to advise you about this vaccine.

However, as mentioned below, there are a number of strategies to boost your immune system (preventatively) and antiviral herbs (viral treatment) that can be taken to assist the body's ability to resist and fight off the virus.I f you are seriously ill, you should consider regular medical treatment for this virus. This is your own personal responsibility and choice.

Whilst there are two main anti-viral drugs being used on sufferers, the most famous being Tamiflu, this is not widely tested and has been known to have a number of severe side effects. A vaccine has recently been released (at the time of writing). It is reputed to be more similar to the flu vaccine than the infamous US Swine Flu vaccine of the 1970s that had to be scrapped on account of a number of cases of paralysis and death (from the vaccine). However, most vaccines still contain Mercury etc. Please see the Toxins page for more information.

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RNase L Overactivation:

Rnase L (a.k.a. RnaseL or Rnase-L) 'is an interferon-induced ribonuclease which, upon activation, destroys all RNA within the cell (both cellular and viral), which can result in mass cell death in the body. RNase L is present in very minute quantities during the normal cell cycle. When interferon binds to cell receptors, it activates transcription of around 300 genes to bring about the antiviral state. Among these genes is RNase L, which is initially produced in inactive form...RNase L is part of the body's innate immune defense, namely the antiviral state of the cell. When a cell is in the antiviral state, it is highly resistant to viral attacks and is also ready to undergo apoptosis upon successful viral infection. Degradation of all RNA within the cell (which usually occurs with cessation of translation activity caused by protein kinase R is the cell's last stand against a virus before it attempts apoptosis.'

As such, I believe there is some truth in this theory but that it is not as simply as proposed. suggests treatment with the anti-viral and immune modulating drug Ampligen to treat the RnaseL abnormality, which BlackSpy cannot fully comment on at this stage. However, I do know that Applied Kinesiological testing can be very useful in determining which of the body's pathways (adrenal, immunological, mitochondrial etc. are not functioning properly or are out of balance), to determine the correct course of treatment, and synthetic drugs are not the only means of modulating the immune system.

Dr Paul Cheney, a famous researcher into CFS, has been involved in research into oxygen toxicity (the oxygen response deficit with exercise) and CFS, including trials with Ampligen. The results were however not entirely conclusive. Dr Cheney's other research is examined on the Cardiac Insufficiency page. - 'Oxygen Toxicity as a Locus of Control for Chronis Fatigue Syndrome' by Dr Paul Cheney, 27 May 2008' One proponent of anti-viral treatments and pharmacological approaches to keeping RnaseL levels down is proposed by well known researcher Dr Kenny De Meirlier. His treatments are reputed to be hugely expensive (arguably not surprising given his pharmaceutical company backing) and the Board of The National CFIDS Foundation, Inc. has called for his resignation.

A paper of Nijs and De Merilier on Synthetase/RNase-L upregulation in CFS patients can be found at the link below.

A related paper can be found here.

A slide presentation from a press conference of 28th May 2009, by Kenny De Meirlier, on the upregulation of Rnase-L and the PKR enzyme in CFS patients is shown at the link below.

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Various Possible Triggers Implicated In CFS:

See the article below, from, which defines its view of the progression of CFS into distinct phases, Phase 1 including infection by one of more of either viruses (HHV-6a, EBV, CMV, Coxsackie, Stealth virus (spumaviruses - from a subclass of retroviruses), JHK, Parvovirus B-19 infections, enteroviruses in spinal fluids, blood, brain, nerve tissues, muscles), mycoplasmas (bad bacteria) or chlamydia pneumonia (bad bacteria).'s theory is that bacterial/viral infections cause Rnase L abnormality, which leads to the destruction of human messenger RNA preventing protein synthesis within cells and putting cells into dysfuction. This in turn is believed to affect the production of liver enzymes and leading to impaired Liver detoxification. This results in a build up of toxins (xenobiotics) in the body (Phase 2), which in turn damage the brain's subcortex and hypothalamus, pituitary gland and adrenal gland, the immune system, muscles, cell functions, mitochondria and ATP production and the nervous system (Phase 3). Phases 2 and 3 I am in general agreement with, but I am not entirely certain of the Phase 1 theory, although it may well be true in many patients.

CFS is a broad category, with some sufferers not embodying all of its symptoms. The onset of CFS is rather complex and in many cases, there is a pattern of gradual decline in health, increase in toxicity levels and decrease in ability for the body to repair itself and recover from exertion (mental or physical) over many years, very slight at first. A viral trigger, which is not present in every CFS case, or patient with some overlapping symptoms but not classifiable as having 'classic' CFS, may act in combination with the other predisposing factors to produce the process of CFS or a similar process (unique to that individual). However, Phases 2 and 3 can be seen to be ongoing over decades in many patients before the 'full CFS experience' brought on by a viral or bacterial episode, or multiple episodes over many years.

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Antiviral Treamtments:

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Antiviral herbs:

There are a number of powerful anti-viral herbs (and anti-microbial), oils and soil extracts available, that are my preferred method of directly combatting viri, including:

Essential oils may be ingested with water, applied to the skin in an oil base, or used in steam inhalation. Anti-virals are not working on viruses in the GI tract as a rule, and so there is no need to consume them on an empty stomach, if targetting viruses specifically, and not secondary bacterial or fungal infections. They may be better absorbed, i.e. more slowy - over time, when taken in food.

Please see the Bacterial page for further information.

One may restore the body's natural immune system functionality by a variety of methods, for example using herbs and by detoxification. See the Immune System page for further information. In particular, adaptogenic herbs such as Liquorice (Licorice) or the Chinese Mushroom Astralagus have very powerful immune system boosting properties - Licorice is also anti-viral directly as a herb (as mentioned above). Both are frequently used in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), particularly Liquorice.

One of the body's natural anti-viral pathways is Glutathione, which is frequently low in individuals with CFS. It can be boosted indirectly by increasing mitochondrial (energy) production or by taking precursors to Glutathione such as MSM and NAC, or indeed directly by Glutathione injections (often combined with Phosphatidyl Choline to restore oxidised cell membranes).

Some specific anti-viral protocols are discussed below and my own comments included.

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Dennis Gersten's Generic Antiviral Protocol:

Related to the use of the antiviral drug Ampligen is a series of treatments geared around decreasing the viscosity of the blood. Below is an article by Dennis Gersten, M.D., The HHV-6 Viral Menace, quoted above.

Gersten's general approach for dealing with HHV-6 infections is a combination of treatments, including:

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Damien Downing's Swine Flu Protocol:

Please note that this prevention and treatment regime is shown here for information purposes only. Dr Damien Downing does not recommend any specific antiviral drugs or vaccines.

Prevention (Prophylaxis):


A July 2009 newsletter from Dr Damien Downing of Nutrition Associates Limited regarding the Swine Flu vaccine and preventative and treatment steps can be seen at the link below.

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Breakspear Medical Group's Swine Flu Protocol:

Please note the following treatment recommendations for the Swine Flu are for information purposes only.

Nutritional / Immune System Support (taken daily for a period of 7 days):

Antiviral Drugs:

In addition, Breakspear Medical Group recommended to me a preventative Pneumovax II vaccine, discussed above, to protect against any secondary bacterial infections that might arise from a severe bout of the Swine Flu. In addition, BreakSpear Medical Group offer allergy testing to desensitise the body to certain potential antigens, including chemical compounds, as described on the Tests page. Part of this allergy testing and treatment could include skin testing for Tamiflu if one suspects one might have a severe reaction against it.

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Antiviral Drugs:

Lysovir and Ampligen have been mentioned above in connection with specific antiviral treatments, Lysovir for the Swine Flu and Avian Flu, and Ampligen for it's RNase L inhibiting properties.

One may also want to consider is Dimethyl Sulfoxide (Sulphoxide) a.k.a. DMSO. DMSO is a powerful solvent and an antiviral drug that has enjoyed some success in trials with CFS patients. It is a reduced form of MSM.

As discussed on the Peroxynitrite page, Artesunate is an anti-malarial drug used to reduce egg production in Schistosoma haematobium infection. Artesunate is prepared from the malarial drug Dihydroartemisinin (DHA - not to be confused with docosahexaenoic acid, the Omega 3 EFA) by reacting it with succinic acid anhydride. Cheney first advocated the use of this anti-malarial drug in treating CFS patients in his 25 April 2009 Virginia seminar. He clais that it is a powerful redox inhibitor and shifts the body's redox state to normal, and is also useful as an antiviral treatment, active against all herpes viruses. How much of this success is down to its redox capabilities and how much is down to its antiviral properties, I am unable to comment. Artesunate is usually administered IV.

Paul Cheney has also suggested the use of Nexavir (Kutapressin), a pig's liver extract, which is both anti-inflammatory and anti-viral. This is also discussd on the Peroxynitrite page.

Nexavir, formerly known as Kutapressin, is a prescription drug produced from pig's livers by Nexco Pharma. It is believed to be anti-inflammatory and anti-viral. In Cheney's application it is an enzyme activator, immuno-modulator and anti-viral drug for combatting specific viral infections. I cannot specifically comment on this drug, but in general does not support the use of anti-viral or immuno-modulating drugs unless as a last resort, and instead prefers the use of anti-viral herbs and oils.

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