Detection of an Infectious Retrovirus, XMRV, in Blood Cells of Patients with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome – Source: Science, Oct 8, 2009

Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is a debilitating disease of unknown etiology that is estimated to affect 17 million people worldwide.

Studying peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) from CFS patients, we identified DNA from a human gammaretrovirus, xenotropic murine leukemia virus-related virus (XMRV), in:

• 68 of 101 patients (67%),
• Compared to 8 of 218 (3.7%) healthy controls.

Cell culture experiments revealed that patient-derived XMRV is infectious and that both cell associated and cell-free transmission of the virus are possible.

Secondary viral infections were established in uninfected primary lymphocytes and indicator cell lines following exposure to activated PBMCs, B cells, T cells, or plasma derived from CFS patients.

These findings raise the possibility that XMRV may be a contributing factor in the pathogenesis of CFS.

Source: Science (online ScienceExpress, Oct 8, 2009 ), Lobardi VC, Ruscetti FW, Gapta JD, Pfost MA, Hagen KS, Peterson DL, Ruscetti SK, Bagni RK, Petrow-Sadowski C, Gold B, Dean M, Silverman RH, Mikovits JA. Whittemore Peterson Institute, Reno, Nevada; Laboratory of Experimental Immunology, Laboratory of Cancer Prevention, Advanced Technology Program, and Basic Research Program – Scientific Applications International Corporation, National Cancer Institute-Frederick, Frederick, Maryland; Department of Cancer Biology, The Lerner Research Institute, The Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Cleveland, Ohio, USA. [E-mail:]

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