Fatigue reduces productivity and is a risk factor for lifestyle diseases and mental disorders. Everyone experiences physiological fatigue and recovers with rest. Pathological fatigue, however, greatly reduces quality of life and requires therapeutic interventions. It is therefore necessary to distinguish between the two but there has been no biomarker for this. We report on the measurement of salivary human herpesvirus (HHV-) 6 and HHV-7 as biomarkers for quantifying physiological fatigue. They increased with military training and work and rapidly decreased with rest. Our results suggested that macrophage activation and differentiation were necessary for virus reactivation. However, HHV-6 and HHV-7 did not increase in obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS), chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) and major depressive disorder (MDD), which are thought to cause pathological fatigue. Thus, HHV-6 and HHV-7 would be useful biomarkers for distinguishing between physiological and pathological fatigue. Our findings suggest a fundamentally new approach to evaluating fatigue and preventing fatigue-related diseases.
Aoki, R., Kobayashi, N., Suzuki, G., Kuratsune, H., Shimada, K., Oka, N., … Nakayama, K. (2016). Human herpesvirus 6 and 7 are biomarkers for fatigue, which distinguish between physiological fatigue and pathological fatigue. Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, 478(1), 424–430. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bbrc.2016.07.010