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Comprehensive study finds no link between XMRV retrovirus and chronic fatigue syndrome
Date:5/4/2011

(SALT LAKE CITY) New findings from University of Utah School of Medicine researchers show that the retrovirus called XMRV is not present in the blood of patients who have chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). These findings contradict a widely reported 2009 Science study that linked CFS to XMRV.

The study, performed by a team of U of U researchers led by Ila R Singh, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor of pathology, was published May 4, 2011, in the Journal of Virology online, and is the most comprehensive to date regarding the purported link between chronic fatigue syndrome and XMRV.

The 2009 study linking CFS and XMRV led some CFS patients to take antiretroviral agents in hope of alleviating the symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome, a debilitating condition of unknown cause. But in light of her new findings, Singh believes the off-label use of antiretrovirals by CFS patients is not appropriate and potentially dangerous.

"Our investigation found no trace of XMRV in any of the blood samples taken from patients we obtained ourselves, or from patients previously tested in the 2009 Science study," Singh said. "Because of our findings, we believe chronic fatigue syndrome patients should reconsider the merit of taking antiretroviral agents to alleviate their symptoms."

CFS is a devastating disorder characterized by overwhelming fatigue that is not improved by bed rest and may be exacerbated by physical or mental activity, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It affects millions of people in the United States and worldwide. XMRV (xenotropic murine leukemia virus-related virus), which was first described in 2006, is a retrovirus. Other retroviruses are known to cause AIDS in humans, and many kinds of cancer in animals.

In 2009, a researcher at the Whittemore Peterson Institute in Reno, Nev., Judy A. Mikovits, Ph.D., published a study that found XMRV in the blood of 68 percent of CFS patients sh
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Contact: Phil Sahm
phil.sahm@hsc.utah.edu
801-581-2517
University of Utah Health Sciences
Source:Eurekalert

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