NCF Banner


NCF Funds More Research

BY NCF Medical Commitee (5/29/12)

From Summer 2012 Forum

The National CFIDS Foundation has provided its latest research grant funding to Grieg Steward, Ph.D. for his grant titled "Testing for the presence of vibrio bacteria in clinical samples from CFIDS patients." Dr. Steward, who is an Associate Professor of Oceanography at the University of Hawaii, will receive $31,166 to complete this research.

According to Professor Alan Cocchetto, NCF's Medical Director, "Dr. Steward is an expert in the area of marine ecology of viruses and bacteria and in particular, vibrio identification. Because of Dr. Hokama's research, the NCF wanted to look for potential involvement of vibrio infections in CFIDS patients, especially since there is a interesting association between ciguatera and vibrio. Some types of vibrio infections are extremely unique and are very difficult to detect. As such, these bacteria are considered to be viable but not culturable in the host. Dr. Steward will be employing the latest in PCR technology for their potential detection."

Gail Kansky, NCF's president stated "We are aware of a number of CFIDS patients who characterized their disease onset with the specific consumption of shellfish and in particular, oysters. Human consumption of oysters and other shellfish has been associated with severe and sometimes fatal infections that require hospitalizations. These infections have been associated with certain strains of vibrio bacteria and require extensive antibiotic regimens for human recovery. Some of these strains produce a red or crimson pigment. Crimson crescents, fish hook-like marks found in the side of the throat, have been frequently seen in CFIDS patients. The NCF felt it was their duty to pursue this study to answer the question as to whether there was or wasn't an association with vibrio infections in our patient community."

Vibrio is a genus of gram-negative rod shaped bacteria than can cause foodborne infection usually associated with eating undercooked seafood. The bacteria produces a red or crimson pigment known as prodigiosin. Dr. Steward will also be testing for the presence of prodigiosin in patient samples.

The National CFIDS Foundation * 103 Aletha Rd, Needham Ma 02492 *(781) 449-3535 Fax (781) 449-8606