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New Report Casts More Doubt on Virus' Link to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Date:9/22/2011

By Amanda Gardner
HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, Sept. 22 (HealthDay News) -- Researchers have shot another arrow through the credibility of claims that a virus likely causes chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS).

This time, results from nine different labs around the United States failed to differentiate patients with CFS from healthy controls solely on the basis of whether they tested positive for xenotropic murine leukemia virus-related virus (XMRV).

The study was published in the Sept. 22 online issue of Science, along with a partial retraction from the authors of the 2009 study that first fingered XMRV as a probable culprit behind CFS.

This is the 17th study to repudiate the 2009 findings, which were also published in Science, according to a statement released by the Chronic Fatigue and Immune Dysfunction Syndrome (CFIDS) Association of America.

"We share the deep disappointment of many CFS patients and scientists that the initial data did not hold up. Whether you have been diagnosed recently or have been ill for decades, this news comes as a blow to hope for rapid advances in the care available to CFS patients," Kim McCleary, president and CEO of the CFIDS Association, said in the statement.

The 2009 findings raised hopes that there might finally be a concrete cause for this mysterious malady and perhaps, down the line, treatments for the disease. CFS strikes an estimated 1 percent of the world's population, and involves crippling fatigue as well as aching joints, headaches and various other symptoms.

But that hope has steadily been eroded as study after study failed to confirm the initial findings. One study published earlier this year dealt a devastating blow to the theory when it found that the XMRV pathogen spotted in human samples in the first study actually got there as a result of contamination.

At that time, the editors of Science issued an unusual "expressi
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