XMRV And Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: The Sad End Of A Story

In a Comment published Online First by The Lancet, Dr Frank J M van Kuppeveld and Professor Jos W M van der Meer (Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, Netherlands), discuss the recent events which they say have closed the door on the possibility of xenotropic murine leukaemia virus (MLV)-related virus (XMRV) having any role in chronic fatigue syndrome.

More @ Medical News Today

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One thought on “XMRV And Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: The Sad End Of A Story

  1. It is quite amazing that so little media coverage is given to the real star of the CFS show: the mounting evidence that ENTEROVIRUSES are associated with CFS, and may well be the cause of CFS, in most cases.

    Many diseases are caused by microbes, and researchers are discovering new disease-microbe links all the time now.  There are usually two stages to proving that a given microbe causes a given disease. The first stage is to show a statistical association between that microbe and the disease – that is to say, to show that the microbe is found more often in the tissues of patients with the disease than it is in healthy people.

    But as every statistician knows, finding such an association does not automatically imply that the microbe causes the disease. So, having found a microbe-disease association, the next stage is to show that getting  infected with the microbe then leads to the disease. Demonstrating this establishes that the microbe can cause the disease, which is a stronger statement than just saying that the microbe is statistically associated with the disease.

    For enteroviruses, it has been now established beyond doubt that theses are strongly associated with chronic fatigue syndrome: that is, you find enteroviruses in the tissues of CFS patients much more frequently than you do in healthy controls. The CFS researcher Dr John Chia has elegantly demonstrated this association between enteroviruses and CFS. So the first stage is completed.

    The second stage is to go on to show that enteroviruses can actually cause CFS. Some recent work (in 2010) by Dr Chia is tending show that enteroviruses do cause CFS in some patients.

    Dr Chia devised a neat study to demonstrate this causal relationship between enteroviruses and CFS. Chia obtained details of people that had been admitted to hospital suffering from an acute case of enterovirus infection. He then followed up on these people, and found that several went on to develop CFS some time not long after their acute enteroviral infection. 

    Chia’s study can be found here: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19828908

    So not only is there indisputable evidence of a strong association between enteroviruses and CFS, there is also mounting evidence that enteroviruses can indeed precipitate CFS some time after an initial acute infection episode.

    XMRV, by contrast, is still struggling to even show an association to CFS. So XMRV has not yet passed the first hurdle of proof.

    In summary: the enteroviral connection to CFS is light years ahead of other viral research on CFS, such as XMRV. Yet for some reason, the enterovirus-CFS connection receives very little media attention, in comparison to XMRV.

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