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Heard Through the Grapevine: Test kit for XMRV to be available from Reno-based VIP Dx

  [ 77 votes ]   [ Discuss This Article ] • October 12, 2009

Rumor on the ProHealth Message Boards has it that Viral Immune Pathology Diagnostics (VIP Dx) in Reno, Nevada (, will soon make available a test kit for the XMRV virus - the retrovirus which most of the world knows by now is thought to be a biomarker for a large proportion of chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) patients.

According to the buzz, ME/CFS patients & their physicians will be able to order VIP Dx kits as soon as pricing is established – and that should be Friday, Oct 16, according to a ProHealth ME/CFS Message Board user who has already arranged to receive a kit when they become available for shipment. According to her, “They send it to you by FedEx and you have to have a Dr. sign off and take it to a lab. [VIP Dx] pays for it to be sent back.”

Can't be offered in Europe. As of Oct 14, a Co-Cure listserv poster reported that Marguerite Ross, Director of Marketing & Client Relations at VIP Dx, indicated to him "we cannot offer the test in Europe because of the time difference and temperature changes the sample would experience,[which would render it]unsuitable for analysis." In the same communication, she stated "the test will be available in the USA in about 3-4 weeks as it is undergoing final validation and licensing."

According to the initial news on the VIP Dx test - posted Oct 9 on the CFS Warrior blog (, there is “a PCR test for the XMRV virus itself. Another test kit recommended by Dr. Paul Cheney is the NKCP & LYEA test… If you want to be tested call the lab at 775-351-1890 and they will ship out a kit to you. Your doctor has to sign off, then take it to a local lab to get the test done and then it gets shipped overnight back to VIP Labs. It takes about two weeks to get the results. The woman I spoke to was very nice. They are swamped with calls but expected it.”

VIP Dx is the new name of the former REDLABS USA, launched years ago with the assistance of Belgium-based ME/CFS researcher Dr. Kenny De Meirleir, who has no financial interest in the venture. It was named after De Meirleir’s own R.E.D. Laboratories, a biotechnology company in Belgium focused on “developing clinical diagnostic tests and therapies for chronic immune diseases.” VIP Dx is located geographically near the Whittemore-Peterson Institute, which is part of the University of Nevada, Reno. VIP’s medical director - Dr. Vincent Lombardi, PhD – was recently hired from the UN-Reno School of Medicine, and reportedly played a role in the WPI testing.

Test Availability from Whittemore-Peterson?
Meanwhile, according to the XMRV FAQ at the WPI website, “The WPI has developed a blood test for the detection of XMRV. The test is currently undergoing clinical evaluation and validation. We hope to have a clinical test available to the public within the year.”

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