A role of microbiome in the pathogenesis of ME/CFS: a population-based study

ME/CFS is a serious disease with a major impact on individual health and on society. A broad spectrum of genetic, biochemical and environmental factors are believed to be involved in causing ME/CFS, but the exact causes and mechanisms are not yet known. This project investigates the role of the gut microbiome in the development of ME/CFS. This research focuses on the link between ME/CFS and the microbiome and it aims to discover the molecular mechanisms of the disease. This may contribute to a better diagnosis of ME/CFS and lead to new targets for treatment.


The gut microbiome is involved in regulating various functions in the body and it influences both the immune system and brain function. There is evidence that the gut microbiome plays a role in the development of ME/CFS. These indications come from previous studies, but these studies had few participants, lasted only for a short period or had other limitations. More knowledge about the gut microbiome composition of ME/CFS patients could provide new insights into the onset of this disease, and potentially contribute to better diagnosis and the development of microbiome-targeted treatments for ME/CFS. The aim of this project is to identify specific patterns in the microbiome of ME/CFS patients.

Part of the ME/CFS Lines consortium

This research project is associated with the ME/CFS Lines consortium. More information on the consortium and the other ME/CFS Lines research projects can be found on the ME/CFS Lines consortium’s page.

(Expected) Results

In this research project, the aim is to investigate the role of the gut microbiome in the development of ME/CFS, using state-of-the-art methods for microbiome data analysis and machine learning. The researchers aim to provide more insight into the mechanism of onset of ME/CFS, and the role of the microbiome. This may contribute to a better diagnosis of ME/CFS and new leads for microbiome-targeted treatments for ME/CFS.


Extensive collaborations and Open Science are essential in research. Therefore, all outcomes will be published in an accessible manner. This research follows FAIR principles and ethical standards with regards to privacy and well-being of patients and participants


Project number:
Duration: 23%
Duration: 23 %
Part of programme:
Related funding round:
Project lead and secretary:
A. Kurilshchikov
Responsible organisation:
Universitair Medisch Centrum Groningen