Researchers study viral links to chronic fatigue syndrome

XMRV Chronic fatigue syndrome??Studies bring mixed results

Matt McMillan
WebMD Health News

Reviewed by
Laura J. Martin, MD

September 9, 2010-An international group of scientists meet at the National Institutes of Health this week Chronic fatigue syndrome When Prostate cancer.. XMRV (xenotropic murine) leukemia Virus-related virus) was first identified in humans in 2006.

The Cleveland Clinic states that “we are in the very early stages” of understanding XMRV. Urologist Dr. Eric Klein, MD, a member of the team that discovered the virus in a man with a prostate cancer..

Study of confusion

Studies of its association with XMRV have made understanding retroviruses even more difficult in the last few months. Chronic fatigue syndrome (((CFS) Published and the results will vary greatly.

In the first study published in the journal Chemistry In October 2009, 67% of CFS patients were infected with XMRV, but less than 4% of the control group were retrovirus-positive.Last month, FDA / NIH joint research Minutes of the National Academy of Sciences We reported a strong association between CFS and a virus very similar to XMRV.

However, in the 10 months since these two studies were published, reports from the CDC and several other studies showed no association between CFS and XMRV.

“We’re trying to figure out why the negative studies were negative,” Klein said during a morning break. “There is a debate about the robustness of the technology used in the four negative studies and how researchers defined CFS. [when selecting eligible participants].. “

More questions than answers

At this time, experts cannot determine whether XMRV causes the disease or is a benign infection. Klein estimates that it will take several years before there is sufficient evidence to answer such a basic question.

He compared what we now know about XMRV with what researchers understand. HIV At the beginning of AIDS The epidemic of the early 1980s.

“There was a lot of skepticism about the cause of the disease, and it took time to combine all the factors,” Klein said. “At XMRV, we are collecting puzzle pieces.”


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Source: Eric Klein, MD, Urologist and Chairman, Glickman Urological and Kidney Institute, Cleveland Clinic.

Lombardi, V. Chemistry, October 23, 2009; vol 326: pp585-589.

Shyh-Ching, L. Minutes of the National Academy of Sciences, September 7, 2010; Volume 107 (36): pp15874-15879.

CDC: “XMRV: Questions and Answers”.

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Researchers study viral links to chronic fatigue syndrome

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