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Metabolic Differentiation of ME/CFS Co-morbidities IBS and Fibromyalgia

This study will investigate the metabolite signatures of ME/CFS patient stool, urine and blood samples and the impact that co-morbidities (IBS and Fibromyalgia) have on these signatures.

  • Amber Jaa-Kwee
  • Katherine Huang
  • Benjamin Heng, PhD
  • Neil McGregor, PhD
  • Henry Butt, PhD
  • Paul Gooley, PhD
  • Joshua Johnson, PhD
  • Christopher Armstrong, PhD
  • All samples have been collected and assayed.
  • PhD thesis surrounding this work completed and submitted.
  • PhD student working on 2 papers over the coming months, expecting publication by end of 2024.
  • Early analysis indicate that comorbidities do impact profiles and agree with previous metabolic studies on comorbidities.
  • Have expanded study to target Kynurenine pathway, NAD metabolites and cytokines in the blood.

In our research, we recognise that people with ME/CFS often have other health issues too, like IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) and Fibromyalgia. These additional health problems can change the biological data we collect, making it hard to tell what’s caused by ME/CFS alone.

To better understand this, we’re comparing the microbial and metabolic information from stool, blood, and urine samples of ME/CFS patients who also have IBS and Fibromyalgia, with those who don’t have these conditions, and with healthy people without these conditions. This helps us see how these additional health issues affect the biological markers in ME/CFS.

Our goal is to show that when studying ME/CFS, it’s really important to consider these other health conditions too, because they can influence the results. This approach can help us make more accurate comparisons and understand ME/CFS better.


  1. Produce  a comprehensive metabolic profile of plasma, urine and stool samples to contrast ME/CFS patients and controls.
  2. Establish the potential relationships between gut bacteria, host metabolism and ME/CFS.
  3. Compare 22 ME/CFS with Fibromyalgia and 22 ME/CFS without to determine impact on metabolic signatures.
  4. Compare 22 ME/CFS with IBS and 22 ME/CFS without to determine impact on metabolic signatures.
  5. Cluster ME/CFS patients to assess biases of comorbidities.

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