See part 1 for what a tuft cell is and how they can be created/altered by a virus after the virus is left. Here is what they stay behind to do. Abstract Tuft cells are rare, secretory epithelial cells that generated scant immunological interest until contemporaneous reports in 2016 linked tuft cells with type 2 immunity in the small intestine. Tuft cells have the capacity to produce an unusual spectrum of biological effector molecules, including IL-25, eicosanoids implicated in allergy (such as cysteinyl leukotrienes and prostaglandin D2) and the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. In most cases, the extracellular signals controlling tuft cell effector function are unknown, but signal transduction is thought to proceed via canonical, G protein-coupled receptor-dependent pathways involving components of the signalling pathway used by type II taste bud cells to sense sweet, bitter and umami compounds. Tuft cells are ideally positioned as chemosensory sentinels that can detect and relay information from diverse luminal substances via what appear to be stereotyped outputs to initiate both positive and aversive responses through populations of immune and neuronal cells. Despite recent insights, numerous questions remain regarding tuft cell lineage, diversity and effector mechanisms and how tuft cells interface with the immunological niche in the tissues where they reside. Full paper https://sci-hub.tw/10.1038/s41577-019-0176-x Hmm... I seem to recall papers that said that CFS patients have acetylcholine levels that are off. Here is another one covering similar ground. The thymus is responsible for generating a diverse yet self-tolerant pool of T cells1. Although the thymic medulla consists mostly of developing and mature AIRE+ epithelial cells, recent evidence has suggested that there is far greater heterogeneity among medullary thymic epithelial cells than was previously thought2. Here we describe in detail an epithelial subset that is remarkably similar to peripheral tuft cells that are found at mucosal barriers3. Similar to the periphery, thymic tuft cells express the canonical taste transduction pathway and IL-25. However, they are unique in their spatial association with cornified aggregates, ability to present antigens and expression of a broad diversity of taste receptors. Some thymic tuft cells pass through an Aire-expressing stage and depend on a known AIRE-binding partner, HIPK2, for their development. Notably, the taste chemosensory protein TRPM5 is required for their thymic function through which they support the development and polarization of thymic invariant natural killer T cells and act to establish a medullary microenvironment that is enriched in the type 2 cytokine, IL-4. These findings indicate that there is a compartmentalized medullary environment in which differentiation of a minor and highly specialized epithelial subset has a non-redundant role in shaping thymic function. Many papers have shown that CFS/ME patients have weird collections of T cells.