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CFS patients in UK show no signs of suspect virus

The theory that chronic fatigue syndrome could be caused by a virus that jumped from mice to people has been dealt a blow by a British study that has found no evidence of the virus in people diagnosed with CFS.

Scientists are also warning people with the condition of the dangers of dosing themselves with antiretroviral drugs.

CFS affects more than a million people in the US and a quarter of a million in the UK. Its symptoms include persistent, severe tiredness, but its cause remains mysterious and contentious.

The debate on its origins took a new twist in October, when DNA from xenotropic murine leukaemia virus-related virus (XMRV) was found in the blood of about two-thirds of 101 people with CFS, compared with just 4 per cent of healthy people (Science, DOI: 10.1126/science.1179052). The researchers, led by Judy Mikovits of the Whittemore Peterson Institute in Reno, Nevada, suggested that XMRV might be causing CFS.
 
 

Comments (1)

  1. "This study did not duplicate the rigorous scientific techniques used by WPI, the National Cancer Institute and the Cleveland Clinic, therefore it cannot be considered a replication study nor can the results claim to be anything other than a failure not just to detect XMRV, but also a failure to suggest meaningful results." http://www.wpinstitute.org/news/docs/WPI_Erlwein_010610.pdf

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