XMRV: another negative study – this time in Japan

March 20, 2011


From the open-access journal, Retrovirology, 17 March 2011

No association of Xenotropic Murine Leukemia Virus-related virus with prostate cancer or chronic fatigue syndrome in Japan

Rika A Furutal, Takayuki Miyazawa, Takeki Sugiyama , Hirohiko Kuratsune, Yasuhiro Ikeda, Eiji Sato, Naoko Misawa, Yasuhito Nakatomi, Ryuta Sakuma, Kazuta Yasui, Kouzi Yamaguti l and Fumiya Hirayama

Retrovirology 2011, 8:20doi:10.1186/1742-4690-8-20
Published: 17 March 2011
Abstract (provisional)

Background

The involvement of xenotropic murine leukemia virus-related virus (XMRV) in prostate cancer (PC) and chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is disputed as its reported prevalence ranges from 0% to 25% in PC cases and from 0% to more than 80% in CFS cases. To evaluate the risk of XMRV infection during blood transfusion in Japan, we screened three populations–healthy donors (n = 500), patients with PC (n = 67), and patients with CFS (n = 100)–for antibodies against XMRV proteins in freshly collected blood samples. We also examined blood samples of viral antibody-positive patients with PC and all (both antibody-positive and antibody-negative) patients with CFS for XMRV DNA.

Results

Antibody screening by immunoblot analysis showed that a fraction of the cases (1.6-3.0%) possessed anti-Gag antibodies regardless of their gender or disease condition. Most of these antibodies were highly specific to XMRV Gag capsid protein, but none of the individuals in the three tested populations retained strong antibody responses to multiple XMRV proteins. In the viral antibody-positive PC patients, we occasionally detected XMRV genes in plasma and peripheral blood mononuclear cells but failed to isolate an infectious or full-length XMRV. Further, all CFS patients tested negative for XMRV DNA in peripheral blood mononuclear cells.

Conclusion

Our data show no solid evidence of XMRV infection in any of the three populations tested, implying that there is no association between the onset of PC or CFS and XMRV infection in Japan. However, the lack of adequate human specimens as a positive control in Ab screening and the limited sample size do not allow us to draw a firm conclusion.

The complete article is available as a provisional PDF. The fully formatted PDF and HTML versions are in production.

5 thoughts on “XMRV: another negative study – this time in Japan”

  1. Would you also like to post the positive studies that also came out on the same day?

    http://www.jurology.com/article/S0022-5347(11)01208-0/fulltext
    A PRELIMINARY SCREENING OF XENOTROPIC MURINE LEUKEMIA VIRUS-RELATED VIRUS IN JAPANESE PROSTATE CANCER PATIENTS

    http://www.jurology.com/article/S0022-5347(11)01618-1/fulltext
    XENOTROPIC MURINE LEUKEMIA VIRUS RELATED VIRUS (XMRV) IS PRESENT IN MALIGNANT PROSTATE TISSUE BUT DOES NOT AFFECT PATHOLOGICAL OR CLINICAL OUTCOME

    http://www.jurology.com/article/S0022-5347(11)00620-3/fulltext
    XMRV INFECTION INDUCES HOST GENES THAT REGULATE INFLAMMATION AND CELLULAR PHYSIOLOGY

    XMRV is not a contaminant – they are not using validated testing methods.

  2. If anyone is wondering, they did not use a proven method. They used their own new methods that had not been validated.

  3. I agree JT. It is very strange that none of the positive studies were posted on the ME Assoc webpage.

    Could this be because certain people have already come to premature conclusions against XMRV? I wonder …

  4. Evening chaps,

    I know the station hasn’t been manned for a good few days if that’s any help.

    You can always email stuff to Tony if you find it before it reaches the news site.

    These ‘positive’ studies were for XMRV, yes, not the ‘link’ to CFS?

    So are they relevant to a CFS/ME site? I suspect they are of course but I haven’t read them myself yet.

    Still NICE to see some postive news no matter how relevant.

    1. The link to prostate cancer cannot actually be separated from ME. They are having negative studies with both, especially when looking in the blood, and labs are not replicating proven methodology when testing in either cohort. The same is true for the other diseases they have looked in. All the research into HIV infected people will also have to be redone with a proven assay.

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