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Study published in PNAS links CFS to murine leukemia viruses

Wednesday 25 August 2010

Detection of MLV-related virus gene sequences in blood of patients with chronic fatigue syndrome and healthy blood donors

From the CFIDS Association of America:


The much anticipated report from a group of collaborating researchers at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), National Institutes of Health(NIH) and Harvard Medical School (HMS) was published online on August 23, 2010 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). This study reports a strong association with murine leukemia virus-related viruses (MLVs), with 32 of 37 (86.5%) CFS patients testing positive for MLV sequences compared to 3 of 44 (6.8%) of healthy blood donors. The authors state, “Our results clearly support the central argument by Lombardi et al that MLV-related viruses are associated with CFS and are present in some blood donors.” However, the strains of MLVs detected by this research team are different from the ones reported last year in Science.

The full text of the following CFS-related articles appear in the August 24, 2010 PNAS issue posted online:

This package of PNAS articles is densely packed with information that will likely intensify discussion and debate about the association between CFS and this family of retroviruses. To help site visitors make sense of this material, the CFIDS Association has prepared the following resources:

  • “Another Turn of the Retrovirus Kaleidoscope” by K. Kimberly McCleary, CFIDS Association president & CEO. This article is part summary, part analysis. It describes the study’s findings and provides a history of how the collaboration unfolded across 15 years.
  • “Comparison of XMRV/MLV Data in CFS.” This chart, published first in the spring/summer 2010 issue of SolveCFS, is updated to reflect data from the six studies of MLVs in CFS reported in peer-reviewed publications.
  • A pictorial essay that attempts to describe the relationships between XMRV, MLVs and gammaretroviruses using simple terms and photos of citrus fruit.

Listed below are links to major outlets’ articles about this study, updated regularly. This is an exciting time and all of us at the Association are working hard to keep you well-informed about the latest developments and news.

Upcoming Events Relevant to this Study:

  • Sept. 7-8, 2010: First International Workshop on XMRV. Sponsored by NIH and Abbott Virology, this two-day meeting will bring together more than 200 individuals engaged in XMRV research for plenary sessions and presentations of new data.
  • Sept. 16, 2010: CFS & the Viral Connection. Join us for a webinar presentation by Dr. Anthony Komaroff, a long-time CFS clinical researcher and a collaborator on the study published today in PNAS, during which he will describe the many agents that have been associated with CFS over time, including XMRV and MLVs.
  • Oct. 12-14, 2010: Department of Health & Human Services CFS Advisory Committee Meeting. The first day of the meeting will be dedicated to the science of CFS; days two and three will allow the committee time to hear federal agency presentations, public testimony and subcommittee reports, as well as to make recommendations to the Secretary of Health.

Links to Additional Materials About This Study:

Updated most recently on August 23, 2010

The above originally appeared here.



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