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

e sampled. That study, which engendered much controversy, was followed by another one performed by National Institutes of Health and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration researchers that also detected DNA sequences related to XMRV in CFS patients. Since then, however, several other studies in Europe and China found no trace of the retrovirus in CFS samples.

Singh and her colleagues in the U of U departments of anesthesiology and pathology, and ARUP Laboratories analyzed blood samples from 100 CFS patients and 200 healthy controls from the greater Salt Lake City area using molecular, serological, and viral growth assays, including assays used by researchers who previously found XMRV or XMRV-related viruses in CFS patients. CFS patients for the study were provided by the Fatigue Consultation Clinic, headed by Lucinda Bateman, M.D., in Salt Lake City.

In addition, Singh also analyzed samples from individuals from the 2009 study linking XMRV and CFS. Those samples were obtained by a third-party phlebotomy service that collected blood in home visits, de-identified the samples, and sent them to the Singh lab. Thus, the samples were not opened in any other research lab where XMRV might be present, minimizing chances of contamination. All samples were analyzed in a blinded manner.

Singh's study is more comprehensive and differs from other studies in a number of significant ways:

  • It comprises a larger set of patients who fall under well-recognized criteria for CFS
  • Patients and controls were from the same geographical area, which was not true for either of the previous studies that showed a correlation between XMRV and CFS
  • They analyzed blood samples using multiple, well-defined, sensitive and specific methods, including methods used in the original study
  • Unlike many other studies, Singh and her colleagues used blinded methods to evaluate samples
  • Singh's study tested blood samples obtained from individuals t
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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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