Research, another negative XMRV study, 17 August 2011

From the Journal of Virology, published on line ahead of print on 17 August 2011

J. Virol. doi:10.1128/JVI.00827-11

Copyright © 2011,American Society for Microbiology and/or the Listed

Authors/Institutions. All Rights Reserved.

Phylogenetic analysis of MLV sequences from longitudinally sampled Chronic Fatigue Syndrome patients suggests PCR contamination rather than viral evolution

Aris Katzourakis1, Stéphane Hué2, Paul Kellam2,3, and Greg J. Towers1,*

1 Department of Zoology, University of Oxford, South Parks Road, Oxford, OX1 3PS, UK
2 MRC Centre for Medical Molecular Virology, Division of Infection and Immunity, University College London, 46 Cleveland St, London W1T 4JF, UK
3 Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, Hinxton, Cambridge, CB10 1SA, UK

* corresponding


Xenotropic murine leukemia virus (XMRV) has been amplified fromhuman prostate cancer and chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) patientsamples. Other studies failed to replicate these findings andsuggested PCR contamination with a prostate cancer cell line,22Rv1, as a likely source. MLV-like sequences have also beendetected in CFS patients in longitudinal samples 15 years apart.Here we test whether sequence data from these samples are consistentwith viral evolution. Our phylogenetic analyses strongly rejecta model of within-patient evolution and demonstrate that thesequences from the first and second time points represent distinctendogenous murine retroviruses suggesting contamination.


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