XMRV retrovirus replication: Round up 4

XMRV retrovirus replication: Round up 4:

Abstract and links for full paper here: http://wp.me/p5foE-2Bd
Media coverage Round up 1 here: http://wp.me/p5foE-2Bj
Patient organisation responses Round up 2 here: http://wp.me/p5foE-2BA
Round up 3 here: http://wp.me/p5foE-2Ci

Shortlink for this posting: http://wp.me/p5foE-2CG

Additional material, on 8 January, will be added to the top of this posting.

Wall Street Journal  |  Jacob Goldstein  |  7  January 2010

Or maybe that virus isn’t linked to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome


The Economist  print edition  |  7 January 2010

Science and Technology: Chronic fatigue syndrome

A fight over the cause of a mysterious disease


PLoS ONE Discussion Board

Topic: Failure to Detect the Novel Retrovirus XMRV in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

On the discussion board for PLoS ONE (who published the Imperial College study) Dr M McClure, a co-author of the study, has been responding to queries and comments.


Media coverage

Evening Herald  |  John Von Radowitz  |  6 January 2010

New drugs for chronic fatigue ‘do not work’


Discover Magazine  |  6 January 2010

Scientist smackdown: Is a virus really the cause of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?


ScienceNOW Daily News  |  Sam Kean  |  6 January 2010 

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Attacked Again

Related content:

Science Magazine
Chronic Fatigue and Prostate Cancer: A Retroviral Connection?
Sam Kean (9 October 2009) Science 326 (5950), 215-a. [DOI: 10.1126/science.326_215a]


Questions to Dr McClure

Cort Johnson, Creator of Phoenix Rising: An ME/CFS Website and ‘Bringing the Heat’: An ME/CFS Blog raised the following questions with Dr McClure, co-author of the Imperial College London paper. Dr McClure’s responses are interspersed. Cort has given permission for these to be republished.


Dr. McClure’s Response To Questions

I emailed Dr. McClure some questions and she responded.

(1) You (apparently) looked at different gene sequences than in the original report. Why look at different sequences?

We chose sequences we considered to be specific for XMRV and generic to MLV for the reasons given in the paper.

(2) You stated that you felt Lombardi et. al. should held off a bit with their findings. What do you they should have done differently?

I gave my opinion in response to a question at a press conference, but it is not for me to advise or lecture Lombardi et al.

(3) Some questions have been raised by Dr. Vernon regarding techniques that were slightly different from the original paper. Could those effected your results?

No. Provided controls have been included to a) confirm the integrity of the DNA b) ensure that human DNA is being amplified c) to ensure that no inhibition of the PCR is taking place and d) the assay is sufficiently sensitive to detect the virus, then a diifference in protocol does not matter. We controlled for all of this. The one major difference we could not control for, of course, was that the patient cohort is different.

(4) You noted your rigorous attempts to preclude contamination. Does this suggest that contamination from a murine leukemia virus could have effected Lomdardi’s results?

It is far from clear that this was a problem in the Lombardi paper. Indeed, their sequencing data (given in the supplementary data to the Science paper) would argue against it. We highlighted our own conditions because it was right to give a clear insight into how the experiments were carried out.

(5) If the Lombardi et. al. are not finding XMRV what might they finding and culturing in their lab?

They would argue that they are detecting XMRV in their patients. We have not tested those patients, so we cannot dispute this point. Our data simply says that we cannot find this virus in a UK cohort.