Dr. John K. S. Chia is an infectious disease doctor with a medical practice in Torrance, California. Dr. Chia became heavily involved in research and clinical care of myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME) and chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) patients after his son Andrew Chia became ill with CFS. He has published several papers on infectious causes of ME and CFS, including evidence of involvement of enteroviruses such as coxsackie B and echovirus, other viruses, such as parvovirus B19, as well as, bacteria, such as Chlamydia pneumoniae. In addition to his clinical work, he runs his own enterovirus research laboratory and is on the board of directors of the Enterovirus Foundation.
In addition to his work on pathophysiology, Dr. Chia has performed clinical trials in an attempt to find treatment for patients with ME and CFS. His treatment attempts have focused on the use of antiviral compounds such as amantadine, ribavirin, and lamivudine in addition to immune modulators such as interferon and the plant compound oxymatrine. Towards this end, he and his son, a pharmacist, have developed his own proprietary herbal preparation containing oxymatrine and other plant compounds, called Equilibrant.
International Consensus Criteria
Open Letter to The Lancet
Two open letters to the editor of The Lancet urged the editor to commission a fully independent review of the PACE trial, which the journal had published in 2011. In 2016, Dr. Chia, along with 41 colleagues in the ME/CFS field, signed the second letter.
- 10 February 2016, An open letter to The Lancet, again - Virology blog
- 2015, Functional Dyspepsia and Chronic Gastritis Associated with Enteroviruses
Abstract - "After decades of research, functional dyspepsia (FD) remains one of the most elusive gastrointestinal disorders. Endoscopic appearance of mild inflammation of the gastric mucosa without ulceration and microscopic evidence of mild chronic inflammation are often considered as normal findings since no etiology could be found other than H. Pylori. Enteroviruses infect the gastrointestinal tract and have been shown to persist in the stomach of symptomatic patients with myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS). In this study, we evaluated FD patients with and without the diagnosis of ME/CFS, and were able to support the viral protein staining with finding of double-stranded RNA in 63% of the same stomach biopsies by immunoperoxidase staining. Furthermore, we clarified the possible cross-reaction with creatine kinase brain subtype (CKB), present in parietal cells, using antibody competition experiments and western blot analysis of stomach proteins. Viral protein+ and dsRNA+ biopsies were infectious in SCID mice. More research is needed to elucidate the mechanism of enterovirus infection of the stomach associated with FD and chronic gastritis."
- 2008, Chronic fatigue syndrome is associated with chronic enterovirus infection of the stomach
Abstract - "BACKGROUND AND AIMS: The aetiology for chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) remains elusive although enteroviruses have been implicated as one of the causes by a number of studies. Since most CFS patients have persistent or intermittent gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms, the presence of viral capsid protein 1 (VP1), enterovirus (EV) RNA and culturable virus in the stomach biopsy specimens of patients with CFS was evaluated. METHODS: 165 consecutive patients with CFS underwent upper GI endoscopies and antrum biopsies. Immunoperoxidase staining was performed using EV-specific monoclonal antibody (mAb) or a control mAb specific for cytomegalovirus (CMV). RT-PCR ELISA was performed on RNA extracted from paraffin sections or samples preserved in RNA later. Biopsies from normal stomach and other gastric diseases served as controls. 75 samples were cultured for EV. RESULTS: 135/165 (82%) biopsies stained positive for VP1 within parietal cells, whereas 7/34 (20%) of the controls stained positive (p< or =0.001). CMV mAb failed to stain any of the biopsy specimens. Biopsies taken from six patients at the onset of the CFS/abdominal symptoms, and 2-8 years later showed positive staining in the paired specimens. EV RNA was detected in 9/24 (37%) paraffin-embedded biopsy samples; 1/21 controls had detectable EV RNA (p<0.01); 1/3 patients had detectable EV RNA from two samples taken 4 years apart; 5 patient samples showed transient growth of non-cytopathic enteroviruses. CONCLUSION: Enterovirus VP1, RNA and non-cytopathic viruses were detected in the stomach biopsy specimens of CFS patients with chronic abdominal complaints. A significant subset of CFS patients may have a chronic, disseminated, non-cytolytic form of enteroviral infection, which could be diagnosed by stomach biopsy.
Talks & Interviews
- 2016, 12th International IACFS/ME Biennial Clinical and Research Conference, Emerging Science and Clinical Care, Acute and Chronic Enteroviral Infection
- 2013, MECFS Alert Episode 38, part 4 - Interview with Dr. John Chia, Part 4 (17 February)
- 2013, MECFS Alert Episode 38, part 3 - Interview with Dr. John Chia, Part 3 (30 January)
- 2013, MECFS Alert Episode 38, part 2 - Interview with Dr. John Chia, Part 2 (11 January)
- 2012, MECFS Alert Episode 38, part 1 - Interview with Dr. John Chia, Part 1 (22 December)
- 2011, Dr John Chia State of Knowledge ME/CFS Research Workshop(Day 2) Review (9 April)
- 2011, Dr John Chia State of Knowledge Workshop on ME/CFS Research (Day 1) Part 1 (7 April)
- 2011, Dr John Chia State of Knowledge Workshop on ME/CFS Research (Day 1) Part 2 (7 April)
- 2011, The Dr. John Chia Interview (8/08): Introduction (6 March)
- 2010, Speaker at the 5th Invest in ME International ME Conference on Enteroviruses in ME/CFS, Diagnosis and Treatment DVD available
- 2008, Speaker at the 3rd Invest in ME International ME Conference on Research on the Role of Chronic Enterovirus Infection in CFS/ME DVD available
- 2013, Hanging Fire – Dr. John Chia (February)
- 2007, Stomach Virus Could Trigger CFS. Enterovirus Found in Many Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Sufferers (13 September)
- 2007, Study: Common Stomach Virus Tied to Chronic Fatigue (14 September)
- 2003, Correspondence in Clinical Infectious Diseases - "Diverse Etiologies for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome"
- EVMED Research
- Ribavirin and Interferon-a for the Treatment of Patients with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Associated with Persistent Coxsackievirus B Infection: A Preliminary Observation
- Carruthers, BM; van de Sande, MI; De Meirleir, KL; Klimas, NG; Broderick, G; Mitchell, T; Staines, D; Powles, A C P; Speight, N; Vallings, R; Bateman, L; Baumgarten-Austrheim, B; Bell, DS; Carlo-Stella, N; Chia, J; Darragh, A; Jo, D; Lewis, D; Light, A; Marshall-Gradisnik, S; Mena, I; Mikovits, JA; Miwa, K; Murovska, M; Pall, ML; Stevens, S (2011), "Myalgic encephalomyelitis: International Consensus Criteria.", Journal of Internal Medicine, 270 (4): 327-38, PMID 21777306, doi:10.1111/j.1365-2796.2011.02428.x
- Chia, John K.; Chia, Andrew Y.; Wang, David; El-Habbal, Rabiha (2015), "Functional Dyspepsia and Chronic Gastritis Associated with Enteroviruses", Open Journal of Gastroenterology, 5 (4): 21-27., doi:10.4236/ojgas.2015.54005
- Chia, John K.; Chia, Andrew Y. (2008), "Chronic fatigue syndrome is associated with chronic enterovirus infection of the stomach", Journal of Clinical Pathology, 61 (1): 43-8, doi:10.1136/jcp.2007.050054
- Chia, John K.S.; Chia, Andrew (2003), "Diverse Etiologies for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome", Clinical Infectious Diseases, 36 (5): 671-672, doi:10.1086/367666