Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New study casts doubt on link between chronic fatigue syndrome and human retrovirus XMRV

Date:
February 26, 2010
Source:
BMJ-British Medical Journal
Summary:
A new study casts doubt on recent claims that a human retrovirus known as XMRV is linked to chronic fatigue syndrome or ME (myalgic encephalitis).

A new study published on the British Medical Journal website casts doubt on recent claims that a human retrovirus known as XMRV is linked to chronic fatigue syndrome or ME (myalgic encephalitis).

This is the third study to refute the original US study reporting the link.

Chronic fatigue syndrome is a debilitating condition that affects millions of people worldwide with disabling physical and mental fatigue that does not improve with rest. Its causes remain unclear, but many people say their illness started after a viral infection.

A recent study from the United States detected XMRV in two thirds of patients with chronic fatigue syndrome, but could not conclusively prove a direct (causal) link between the virus and the disease.

In January 2010, another research team found no evidence of XMRV in 186 patients with chronic fatigue syndrome in the United Kingdom. A third study, published earlier this month, also failed to identify XMRV in 170 patients.

So a team from the Netherlands, led by Professors Frank van Kuppeveld and Jos van der Meer, investigated whether this link could be confirmed in an independent European group of patients with chronic fatigue syndrome.

They examined the DNA from XMRV in the blood cells of 32 Dutch patients with chronic fatigue syndrome and 43 healthy controls, matched by age, sex and geographical area. Two highly sensitive tests were performed on two different target genes.

They found no evidence of XMRV in any of the patients or the controls, adding to the negative evidence in the two previous studies.

"Although our patient group was relatively small and we cannot formally rule out a role of XMRV, our data cast doubt on the claim that this virus is associated with chronic fatigue syndrome in the majority of patients," say the authors.

One reason why these results contradict the original findings may be that the US study involved patients from a specific outbreak of chronic fatigue syndrome in the mid-80s that has already been linked to several viruses, explain the authors. It is possible that XMRV is implicated in this outbreak, but does not play a substantial role in most cases of chronic fatigue syndrome elsewhere, they conclude.

To reconcile these different findings, other US laboratories are currently investigating XMRV and chronic fatigue syndrome, and the results are eagerly awaited, say researchers from Imperial College London and King's College London in an accompanying editorial.

"If the link fails to hold up, it will be another bitter disappointment to affected patients. Nonetheless, the current debate will still bring critical attention to the causes of chronic fatigue syndrome, and XMRV may turn out to be important in the pathogenesis of other diseases," they conclude.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by BMJ-British Medical Journal. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

BMJ-British Medical Journal. "New study casts doubt on link between chronic fatigue syndrome and human retrovirus XMRV." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 February 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100225214803.htm>.
BMJ-British Medical Journal. (2010, February 26). New study casts doubt on link between chronic fatigue syndrome and human retrovirus XMRV. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100225214803.htm
BMJ-British Medical Journal. "New study casts doubt on link between chronic fatigue syndrome and human retrovirus XMRV." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100225214803.htm (accessed October 21, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

How Nigeria Beat Its Ebola Outbreak

How Nigeria Beat Its Ebola Outbreak

Newsy (Oct. 20, 2014) The World Health Organization has declared Nigeria free of Ebola. Health experts credit a bit of luck and the government's initial response. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Another Study Suggests Viagra Is Good For The Heart

Another Study Suggests Viagra Is Good For The Heart

Newsy (Oct. 20, 2014) An ingredient in erectile-dysfunction medications such as Viagra could improve heart function. Perhaps not surprising, given Viagra's history. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Worries End for Dozens on U.S. Watch Lists

Ebola Worries End for Dozens on U.S. Watch Lists

Reuters - US Online Video (Oct. 20, 2014) Forty-three people who had contact with Thomas Eric Duncan, the first person diagnosed with Ebola in the U.S., were cleared overnight of twice-daily monitoring after 21 days of showing no symptoms. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
CDC Calls for New Ebola Safety Guidelines

CDC Calls for New Ebola Safety Guidelines

AP (Oct. 20, 2014) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Tom Frieden laid out new guidelines for health care workers when dealing with the deadly Ebola virus including new precautions when taking off personal protective equipment. (Oct. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins