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XMRV, related viruses not confirmed in blood of healthy donors or chronic fatigue syndrome patients
Date:9/22/2011

A study supported by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services could not validate or confirm previous research findings that suggested the presence of one of several viruses in blood samples of people living with chronic fatigue syndrome. The new study also could not find the viruses in blood samples of healthy donors who were previously known to not have the viruses.

The HHS-supported study examined the validity of testing techniques intended to detect the presence of several viruses, xenotropic murine leukemia virus-related virus (XMRV) or related polytropic murine leukemia viruses (P-MLVs). Such follow-up studies are standard in science to determine whether earlier findings are accurate. The new findings suggest earlier results may have resulted from laboratory error, either contamination or false positive test results.

The initial reports of a link between XMRV and chronic fatigue syndrome prompted HHS to investigate how well tests detect XMRV/P-MLVs, and the prevalence and potential transmission of these viruses in the blood supply. If the viruses had been proven to be present in patients with chronic fatigue syndrome or healthy donors, concerns were raised that these viruses could put the blood supply at risk. The new results were published online on Thursday, Sept. 22, 2011 in Science Express.

"The results of this study, along with other recent findings, reassure us that these viruses do not pose a threat to the safety of the nation's blood supply," said Susan B. Shurin, M.D., acting director of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) of the National Institutes of Health. "These data add to the mounting evidence that there is no need to screen blood donors for them at the present time."

In the new study, blood samples were taken from healthy donors and from 14 patients with chronic fatigue syndrome who had previously tested positive for XMRV or P-MLV, and samples from another person who had tested positi
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Contact: NHLBI Communications Office
nhlbi_news@nhlbi.nih.gov
301-496-4236
NIH/National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute
Source:Eurekalert

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