Three Studies Now Refute the Presence of XMRV in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)

From Laika’s MedLibLog:

In a recent publication in Science, Lombardi and co-authors from the WPI reported the detection of XMRV-related, a novel retrovirus that was first identified in prostate cancer samples. Their main finding, presence of XMRV in peripheral blood cells could not be replicated by 3 other studies, even under sensitive PCR conditions. The original Science study has severe flaws, discussed above. For one thing WPI doesn’t seem to adhere to the PCR to test XMRV any longer.

It is still possible that XMRV is present in amounts at or near the detection limit. But it is equally possible that the finding is an artifact (the paper being so inaccurate and incomplete). And even if XMRV was reproducible present in CFS patients, causality is still not proven and it is way too far to offer patients “diagnostic tests” and retroviral treatment.

Perhaps the most worrisome part of it all is the non-scientific attitude of WPI-employees towards colleague-scientists, their continuous communication via press releases. And the way they try to directly reach patients, who -i can’t blame them-, are fed up with people not taking them serious and who are longing for a better diagnosis and most of all a better treatment. But this is not the way.

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