Chronic Viral Diseases Branch

The Chronic Viral Diseases Branch (CVDB) is responsible for conducting research on  myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) and human papillomavirus (HPV) with the goal of reducing the health burden of these conditions.

ME/CFS is a serious, long-term illness that affects many body systems. According to an Institute of Medicine (IOM) report published in 2015, an estimated 836,000 to 2.5 million Americans suffer from ME/CFS, but most of them have not been diagnosed. CVDB conducts research on factors related to this illness.

CVDB also conducts laboratory-based studies of human papillomavirus (HPV) infection and cervical cancer to enable effective control and prevention of HPV-related diseases. HPV is a very common virus: about 79 million Americans—or 1 in 4 people—are infected in the United States at any given time, and about 80% of people will get an HPV infection in their lifetime. HPV viruses cause many different types of cancer, including cancer of the cervix, vulva, vagina, penis, or anus, as well as cancer in the back of the throat, including the base of the tongue and tonsils (called oropharyngeal cancer).

Activities of CVDB include:

  • Surveillance and clinical studies of ME/CFS
  • Development of education programs for healthcare providers related to ME/CFS
  • Research on human immune responses to HPV and ME/CFS
  • Laboratory studies of HPV infection