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Chronic Fatigue Syndrome-Virus Link Questioned

Scientists using more sensitive tests found no association

FRIDAY, Feb. 19 (HealthDay News) -- In a finding that questions previous research into the disease known as chronic fatigue syndrome, British researchers report that they've found no link between the condition and xenotropic murine leukemia virus-related virus.

Kate Bishop, of the MRC National Institute for Medical Research in London, and colleagues tested samples of blood and serum from 170 people with chronic fatigue syndrome and 395 healthy people. The researchers found no connection between chronic fatigue syndrome and the virus.

The finding, published online Feb. 15 in the journal Retrovirology, rebuts previous research that did find the virus in chronic fatigue syndrome patients. In a news release from the journal's publisher, Bishop said her team's tests were more sensitive than those used in the earlier research.

However, the study authors noted that chronic fatigue syndrome is probably made up of several diseases and may still be related to the virus.

"There has been much discussion and controversy amongst chronic fatigue syndrome researchers and patients alike, which highlights the need for additional investigations in this area," Bishop said. "Following our findings, it would seem a prudent next step for subsequent studies to compare samples and protocols between different laboratories around the world."

More information

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more on chronic fatigue syndrome.

-- Randy Dotinga

SOURCE: BioMed Central, news release, Feb. 17, 2010

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