Whittemore Peterson Institute (WPI) Chronic Fatigue Syndrome link to retrovirus XMRV

Whittemore Peterson Institute (WPI)   Chronic Fatigue Syndrome   CFS   Infectious Retrovirus   XMRV  Science Express

[Additional reporting, today, will be added under “Latest media coverage”]

Whittemore Peterson Institute (WPI) Chronic Fatigue Syndrome link to retrovirus

Media Round up 2

See previous posting:

Science 9 October 2009: Whittemore Peterson Institute (WPI) Chronic Fatigue Syndrome link to retrovirus: 08.10.09:  http://wp.me/p5foE-272  


UK patient organisation responses appended beneath Blogs

Lastest media coverage here:



Daily Mail  | 9 October 2009


Hope for ME sufferers as scientists find cause of chronic fatigue disorder


BBC News  | 9 October 2009


ME virus discovery raises hopes

US scientists say they have made a potential breakthrough in understanding what causes the condition known as chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) or ME.

“Their research in the journal, Science, suggests that a single retrovirus known as XMRV does play a role in ME…”


“Dr Richard Grunewald, a consultant neurologist at the Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust who is also on the panel that gives advice to NICE on CFS, said he had reservations about the research.

He said: “The idea that all CFS can be caused by a single virus doesn’t sound plausible to most people who work in the field.  “A lot of the symptoms of CFS are not those of a viral infection.”


Independent  |  9 October 2009


Leading article: Chronic neglect

“Scientists could be on the brink of a breakthrough. We must hope that they are. That would – at least – go some way to compensating for the shameful manner in which sufferers were treated for so long by the medical profession.”


Independent  |  9 October 2009  |  Steve Connor, Science Editor


Has science found the cause of ME?

Breakthrough offers hope to millions of sufferers around the world


Telegraph |  9 October 2009  |  Richard Alleyne, Science Correspondent


‘Most cases of chronic fatigue syndrome linked to virus’

Most cases of chronic fatigue syndrome or ME may be linked to a virus, according to research that could lead to the first drug treatments for the disorder that affects millions around the world.


Science News  |  8 October 09  |  Nathan Seppa


Retrovirus might be culprit in chronic fatigue syndrome

People with the condition are much more likely than others to harbor a little-known pathogen

“The long, fruitless search for the cause of chronic fatigue syndrome has taken a curious turn. Scientists report online October 8 in Science that an obscure retrovirus shows up in two-thirds of people diagnosed with the condition. The researchers also show the retrovirus can infect human immune cells…”


New York Times  |  8 October 2009  |  Denise Grady


Virus Is Found in Many With Chronic Fatigue Syndrome


Scientific American  |  8 October 2009  |  Katherine Harmon


Retrovirus Linked to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Could Aid in Diagnosis

Recently implicated in some severe prostate cancer patients, the retrovirus XMRV has now been found in many with chronic fatigue – changing the landscape for diagnosis and possible treatment


Reno-Gazette Journal  |  8 October  |  Lenita Powers lpowers@rgj.com


UNR reports major breakthrough for chronic fatigue sufferers

A link between a retrovirus and neuro-immune diseases such as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome has been discovered, scientists working with a research institute at the University of Nevada, Reno announced today.


Blogs and commentaries:


Emerging Diseases

Patients at the crossroads of new diseases and chronic ills.

by Pamela Weintraub

October 9, 2009, Integrative Medicine
From Chronic Fatigue to Lyme: Medically Unexplained No More Labeling sick patients psychiatric is medical abuse.



‘Game Changer – the WPI Retrovirus Study – from Bringing the Heat: A Blog From Phoenix Rising.

Cort Johnson’s Blog



Inside the Labyrinth

Hillary Johnson’s (author Osler’s Web) Blog


Comment from UK patient orgs:


Action for M.E. | 9 October 2009


Researchers find virus in blood cells of CFS patients

Researchers at the Whittemore Peterson Institute in Reno, USA have identified genetic material (DNA) from a mouse virus – murine leukaemia virus-related virus (XMRV) – in 68 out of 101 CFS patients (67%) compared to 8 out of 218 (3.7%) of healthy people.

Further blood tests showed that more than 95% of CFS patients have antibodies to XMRV, indicating they had been infected with the virus, which may then have lain dormant in their DNA.

Dr Judy Mikovits, research director, Whittemore Peterson Institute, is testing a further 500 blood samples collated from patients diagnosed with CFS in London.

Although the sample is small, the results are very promising.

Sir Peter Spencer, CEO of Action for M.E., the UK’s biggest M.E. charity, says:

“It is still early days so we are trying not to get too excited but this news is bound to raise high hopes among a large patient group that has been ignored for far too long.

“If the researchers can go on to prove a definitive cause and effect between this retrovirus and M.E., it will make an enormous difference to 250,000 British men, women and children who have M.E. in this country.

“Action for M.E. has long been calling on the UK Government to invest more in research into the causes of this horrible illness. Once we know the cause, researchers can start working on more effective treatments, preventive measures and ultimately a cure for M.E.”

Read the study, commentary, press release and this morning’s lead story in the Independent.