By K. Kimberly McCleary, President & CEO
A study published May 4, 2011, in the Journal of Virology by researchers from the University of Utah, Fatigue Consultation Clinic and ARUP Laboratories reports that they have not been able to confirm a link between XMRV and CFS. The paper reports results using multiple methods of testing for these retroviruses in 100 patients and 200 healthy controls drawn from the same geographic region (Salt Lake City). Also included in the study were 25 subjects identified by the Whittemore Peterson Institute (WPI), 14 of whom had tested positive for XMRV on multiple occasions by the WPI lab.
The authors write, “We did not find XMRV or related MLVs, either as viral sequences or infectious virus, nor did we find antibodies to these viruses in any of the patient samples, including those from the original [Science, Oct. 2009] study…Our findings do not support an association between CFS and MLV-related viruses including XMRV.” The final sentence of the lengthy and detailed paper reads, “It is also vital to state that there is still a wealth of prior data to encourage further research into the involvement of other infectious agents in CFS, and these efforts must continue.”
The CFIDS Association’s analysis of this study, “The Iteration of X,” examines the methods used and the conclusions reached by the authors.
In spite of the disappointing outcome, this team of researchers remains committed to looking for other infectious agents that might be involved in CFS as well as pursuing other promising leads.
For more about this study:
- Journal of Virology (link to PDF of full text)
- Journal of Virology (link to abstract)
- Press release from University of Utah
- Comparison of XMRV/MLV studies in CFS patients (CFIDS Association)
- “Ila Singh finds no XMRV in patients with CFS” (Virology Blog, May 4, 2011)
- “Study Finds No Link to XMRV” (Wall Street Journal, Health Blog, May 4, 2011)
- “More questions over link between XMRV and CFS” (Nature, News Blog, May 5, 2011)
- XMRV Overview and Resources (The CFIDS Association, regularly updated)
- “More bad news for CFS and the mouse virus thesis” (ScienceInsider [Science magazine], May 6, 2011)
- “New study on potenial link between XMRV and chronic fatigue finds, again, nothing” (Los Angeles Times, May 6, 2011)
- “Ian Lipkin on XMRV” (Virology Blog, May 6, 2011)
- “Study discounts chronic fatigue link to mouse retrovirus” (MedPage Today, May 9, 2011)
- Response to “Absence of XMRV and other MLV-related viruses in patients with CFS” (Whittemore Peterson Institute, May 9, 2011)
- “Researchers stand by findings linking XMRV to chronic fatigue syndrome” (Chicago Tribune, May 11, 2011)
- “Study finds no link between XMRV virus, CFS” (HeathDay, May 12, 2011)