BER launches Environmental System Science Program. Visit our new website under construction!

U.S. Department of Energy Office of Biological and Environmental Research

BER Research Highlights

DOE User Facility Enables Scientist to Distinguish Chronic Fatigue and Lyme Disease Patients
Published: April 18, 2011
Posted: April 29, 2011

Patients with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) and those who have not completely recovered from Lyme disease often exhibit similar symptoms, making it difficult to clinically distinguish between these two diseases. A new study by an international team of scientists using the proteomics capabilities at the Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory (EMSL), a DOE scientific user facility, has found biomarkers that can be used to distinguish these two types of patients. Scientists from New Jersey Medical School, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Uppsala University in Sweden, SUNY-Stony Brook, Columbia University, and Albert Einstein School of Medicine examined proteins in the spinal fluid from healthy patients, CFS patients, and former Lyme disease patients, and could easily distinguish among them. More than 700 proteins were found to be unique to the spinal fluid of CFS patients compared to healthy volunteers, and almost 700 other proteins were found to be unique to the spinal fluid of patients who had not completely recovered from Lyme disease. This research strongly suggests that spinal fluid proteins can be used as biomarkers of specific disease, and provides a starting point for future research into CFS causes and treatments. Funding for this research was provided by several institutes within the National Institutes of Health, Swedish Research Council, Lyme Disease Association, and Tami Fund. For further information, see: Article Link

Reference: Schutzer, S. E., T. E. Angel, T. Liu, A. A. Schepmoes, T. R. Clauss, J. N. Adkins, D. G. Camp II, B. K. Holland, J. Bergquist, P. K. Coyle, R. D. Smith, B. A. Fallon, and B. H. Natelson. 2011. “Distinct Cerebrospinal Fluid Proteomes Differentiate Post-Treatment Lyme Disease from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome,” PLoS ONE 6, e17287. DOI: 10/1371/journal.pone.0017287.

Contact: Paul E. Bayer, SC-23.1, (301) 903-5324
Topic Areas:

  • Research Area: DOE Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory (EMSL)
  • Legacy: Medical Applications

Division: SC-33.1 Earth and Environmental Sciences Division, BER


BER supports basic research and scientific user facilities to advance DOE missions in energy and environment. More about BER

Recent Highlights

Mar 23, 2021
Molecular Connections from Plants to Fungi to Ants
Lipids transfer energy and serve as an inter-kingdom communication tool in leaf-cutter ants&rsqu [more...]

Mar 19, 2021
Microbes Use Ancient Metabolism to Cycle Phosphorus
Microbial cycling of phosphorus through reduction-oxidation reactions is older and more widespre [more...]

Feb 22, 2021
Warming Soil Means Stronger Microbe Networks
Soil warming leads to more complex, larger, and more connected networks of microbes in those soi [more...]

Jan 27, 2021
Labeling the Thale Cress Metabolites
New data pipeline identifies metabolites following heavy isotope labeling.

Analysis [more...]

Aug 31, 2020
Novel Bacterial Clade Reveals Origin of Form I Rubisco

  • All plant biomass is sourced from the carbon-fixing enzyme Rub [more...]

List all highlights (possible long download time)