Public Defence: Maria Pedersen – Pediatrics Maria Pedersen at Institute of Clinical Medicine will be defending the thesis Chronic “Chronic Fatigue and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Following acute Epstein-Barr Virus Infection in Adolescents” for the degree of Philosophiae doctor (PhD).

Foto: Vestre viken HF / Frank Reiersen

Trial lecture – time and place

See trial lecture.

Adjudication committee

  • First opponent: Professor Trudie Chalder, King's College
  • Second opponent:  Knut-Arne Wensaas, NORCE Norwegian Research Centre
  • Chair of the committee: Professor Harald Breivik, University of Oslo

Chair of defence

Professor Erik Thaulow, University of Oslo

Principal supervisor

Professor Vegard Bruun Bratholm Wyller, University of Oslo


Acute Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infection in adolescents is a known trigger for chronic fatigue (CF). Both the risk factors for developing CF, and changes when fatigue becomes a chronic condition is poorly described in the literature.

This thesis is built upon data from the CEBA-project (Chronic fatigue following acute Epstein-Barr virus infection), a prospective cohort study including a total of 200 adolescents with acute EBV infection and 70 healthy controls. The overall aim of this thesis was to investigate fatigue and fatigue development in adolescents after acute EBV infection.

Symptoms, mood and physical activity during acute EBV infection were identified as the main risk factors for developing CF. Surprisingly, viral load did not seem to contribute to current fatigue, nor as a risk factor. In addition, there was a general scarcity of associations between fatigue and immune response markers. Cognitive dysfunction and autonomic alterations seemed to be a consequence of CF. Disregarding the cause, fatigue was highly associated with quality of life, underlining the importance of treatment to adolescents struggling with CF.

Additional information

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Published Feb. 14, 2019 3:56 PM - Last modified Feb. 21, 2019 1:29 PM