The results of the nine-lab Blood Working Group study were published online by Science today (Sep 22). See the report summary – “False Positive” at www.sciencemag.org.
According to New York Times coverage of the report - “Chronic Fatigue syndrome Study Deals a Blow to a Viral Theory” - by David Tuller:
“These results indicate that current assays do not reproducibly detect XMRV/M.L.V. in blood samples and that blood donor screening is not warranted,” reported the study, written by researchers participating in the Blood XMRV Scientific Working Group.
The BWG study findings will be featured Friday, Sep 23 at the IACFS/ME Conference in Ottawa. For updates on this and other conference highlights, go to the Facebook page of the conference sponsor (Canada’s National ME/FM Action Network at http://www.facebook.com/pages/National-MEFM-Action-Network/119761554710463) and “like” them.
The BWG researchers also stated they couldn’t “definitively exclude” the possibility that fluctuations in presence of XMRV blood markers might explain inability to detect them. But the general feeling in comments so far seems to be that while the XMRV issue may be sidelined, it did benefit the patient community and ME/CFS research per se by creating a great deal of publicity and broader awareness of ME/CFS as a very serious illness.