The UK ME/CFS Biobank for biomedical research on Myalgic Encephalomyelitis / Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS) and Multiple Sclerosis


Eliana M Lacerda, Erinna W Bowman, Jacqueline M Cliff, Caroline C Kingdon, Elizabeth C King, Ji-Sook Lee, Taane G Clark, Hazel M Dockrell, Eleanor M Riley, Hayley Curran and Luis Nacul


CureME Research Team, International Centre for Evidence in Disability (ICED), Department of Clinical Research (CRD); Department of Immunology & Infection; Department of Pathogen Molecular Biology, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, UK


The UK ME/CFS Biobank was launched in August 2011 following extensive consultation with professionals and patient representatives. The bioresource aims to enhance research on myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS), related to pathophysiology, biomarkers and therapeutic approaches. The cohort includes 18–60 year olds, encompassing 284 clinically-confirmed ME/CFS cases, 60 neurologist-diagnosed multiple sclerosis (MS) cases, and 135 healthy individuals. The Biobank contains blood samples, aliquoted into serum, plasma, peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC), red blood cells/granulocyte pellet, whole blood, and RNA (totalling 29,863 aliquots). Extensive dataset (700 clinical and socio-demographic variables/participant) enables comprehensive phenotyping. Potential reuse is conditional to ethical approval.


Lacerda et al, Open Journal of Bioresources, 2017 Feb 20; 4:4


The UK charities Action for ME, ME Association Ramsay Research Fund, ME Research UK, and a private donor funded the initial phase of the UK ME/CFS Biobank, which ran from 2011 to 2014.

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