TGI Friday! Our weekly round-up of recently published research abstracts and other items | 18 October 2013

From Fatigue: Biomedicine, Health and Behavior, 11 October 2013 (epublished before print, full text available online).

Editorial

A metagenomic approach to investigate the microbial causes of myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome: moving beyond XMRV

Ruth R. Miller(a,*), Jennifer L. Gardy(b,c), Patrick Tang(d,e) and David M. Patrick(f,g)
a) School of Population and Public Health, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada
b) School of Population and Public Health, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada
c) British Columbia Centre for Disease Control, Vancouver, Canada
d) Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada
e) British Columbia Public Health Microbiology and Reference Laboratory, Vancouver, Canada
f) School of Population and Public Health, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada
g) British Columbia Centre for Disease Control, Vancouver, Canada

Abstract

Three years ago, a novel association between myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) and the murine retrovirus XMRV was published. Since then, 191 papers have been published on the subject (NCBI PubMed, accessed 6 November 2012), largely disproving the initial association, a trend confirmed by a recent multicentre blinded trial which definitively concluded that there is no association between ME/CFS and XMRV.

It is therefore time to revisit the investigation of ME/CFS aetiology. Metagenomics offers a promising new opportunity for hypothesis discovery in microbial associations with ME/CFS, and we describe herein the technical basis of this approach and its advantages in aetiological agent investigation.


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