CMV (Cytomegalovirus) eradication for UC?

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Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 2832
   Posted 5/15/2009 9:00 AM (GMT -6)   
CMV infection, almost invariably asymptomatic, is present in something like 50-80% of the US population, so clearly in most normies it is completely benign.  But a quick search for the term "CMV" in conjunction with "UC" or "IBD" yields  a lot of research hits including some who implicate it as exacerbating UC to the point of becoming refractory or steroid-dependent.  The thing is, it is very difficult to eradicate and would require a bunch of harsh antibiotics.  I am awaiting a CMV antibody test, but with 50+ % of the population testing positive, it doesn't seem it would prove anything much.  Just curious if anyone else has investigated or tested for this. 

Pancolitis >20 years, allergic to all 5ASAs
Tried everything under the sun (natural and alternative)
Some partial success with TSO but was too expensive to keep up 
Remicade Humira, lots of probiotics, entocort, tapering pred again, maybe surgery this year

Elite Member

Date Joined May 2003
Total Posts : 30993
   Posted 5/15/2009 1:45 PM (GMT -6)   
I haven't been tested for it, but I've always suspected herpes viruses to be a cause for many autoimmune disease.

I saw on the news today that they suspect it for high blood pressure and arthersclerosis....

Herpes viruses...and there are a LOT of them....are highly communicable and quiet/dormant for long times until something triggers it to come out and wreck havoc.

Keep us posted as to what you find out.
*Heather* Status: mild flare enemas tapered to every 3rd night
~diagnosed January 1989 UC (proctosigmoiditis)
~UC meds: Asacol (3 x2 daily); Salofalk enemas nightly for flares & taper to maintenance 
~Bentylol (dicyclomine) 20mg as needed; Ranitidine (reflux);  Effexor XR 75mg(depression);  Pulmicort/Airomir (asthma) 
~vitamins/minerals/supplementsProbiotics....(Natural Factors Protec, Primadophilus Reuteri Pearls). @ bedtime
~various digestive enzymes as needed
~URSO for PSC (or PBC) 500mg X 2 daily (LFTs back to NORMAL!!)
My doc's logic.. "TREAT (FROM)BOTH ENDS"  worth it !!!

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 16728
   Posted 5/15/2009 2:11 PM (GMT -6)   
I just found out about CMV other day when I was reading about colonic tissue cultures. I was reading and thinking that maybe my doctor was going to call me and say that I had CMV from the culture of my tissue. She didn't. She called to tell me things were looking pretty normal. I guess I don't have CMV, that is of course assuming that they normally do a tissue culture when you get biopsies.
If it had something to do with Herpes, would valtrex help? There is really not much you can do for herpes.

Diagnosed with mild proctitis in March 2007: Treated with Canasa (as needed)
December 08: Began treating with Asacol 400mg (9/day) + Canasa 2x/day - Anemic
May 09: Off Canasa, taking Asacol (9/day)
Back on Canasa every other night + Asacol (9/day) + Probiotics + Iron

Jen O
Regular Member

Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 136
   Posted 5/15/2009 2:17 PM (GMT -6)   
I just saw the IBD specialist this morning. I am in the middle of my first really bad flare since being diagnosed and getting into remission last October.

He did a "flex sig" scope and biopsied for CMV. He thinks it's possible that that might be why I'm flareing and not responding to drugs.

Age 34
Diagnosed with UC September 2008
Current Meds:
Just started taking Asacol 1200 mgs 3 x per day 5/7/2009
Biotin 5 mg
Vitamin D 2,000 IU per day
Calcium 1500 mg per day

Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7150
   Posted 5/15/2009 2:24 PM (GMT -6)   
From the quick search I just did, it appears it's not suspected unless you don't respond to steroid treatment. And wouldn't it require an antiviral? I don't know what an antibiotic would do against a virus.

Symptoms began in November 2008, ~4 weeks after giving birth to my son.
Eased for ~3 weeks in December, possibly b/c of probiotic use?
Returned in January 2009 (with a vengeance), diagnosed with pancolitis on January 30.
Currently taking Asacol (400mg 4 pills 3x daily), Rowasa nightly, Culturelle probiotic, and Zoloft (25 mg).

Post Edited (fruitgirl) : 5/15/2009 2:24:54 PM (GMT-6)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 1916
   Posted 5/15/2009 2:43 PM (GMT -6)   
Antibiotics can't treat viruses and people on the immunosupressive drugs can be susceptible to CMV. I don't know much about CMV and IBD though. Interesting topic. Let us know how your bipsies turn out. I hope you feel better soon. Take care.
diagnosed 1/09 with colitis,54 yo, colazal, fish oil, synthroid, cymbalta

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 2832
   Posted 5/17/2009 10:15 PM (GMT -6)   
Notsosicklygirl-- are CMV cultures normally done at all from biopsies? I'd think not. I assume they have to be specifically ordered and are not part of routine pathology. It peeves me now that I have had a bunch of scopes, if CMV cultures have not been made. You'd figure it should be done routinely to anyone who is having difficulty getting into remission on standard meds. I am awaiting antibody blood tests, but since up to 80% of the adult US population has CMV antibodies, I am not sure these will be of much value.

I'd like to think that, since I do respond to steroid (but I am unable to get off of them), that this is proof that CMV is not to blame- but I don't know if this is an accurate means of verifying CMV's role in my IBD, if any.
Pancolitis >20 years, allergic to all 5ASAs
Tried everything under the sun (natural and alternative)
Some partial success with TSO but was too expensive to keep up 
Remicade Humira, lots of probiotics, entocort, tapering pred again, maybe surgery this year

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