Friday, January 21, 2011

XMRV and Hope

Sometimes I think of my life as having two parts. The full and active life I had before being diagnosed and the shadow life after the onset of ME/CFS.

Things have changed. Today, I am hopeful that there will be a third part to my life. The life where XMRV and related viruses are diagnosed and researched. The life where drug trials begin and remedies are found for this debilitating disease. A life that doesn't require that I rest up after every small activity. A life where I am strong and once again self sufficient.

Make no mistake about it, the time to put an end to this misunderstood, life-stealing disease is near. This blog is about the research that is already changing the way we view ME/CFS. We are just at the beginning. Much more research is needed. Here is the story of XMRV and hope.

 In 2009, Whittemore Peterson Institute scientists discovered a significant link between a newly-found retrovirus, xenotropic murine leukemia virus-related virus (XMRV), and the neuroimmune disease, ME/CFS. Their ground-breaking discovery was published in the world-renowned journal Science, on 8th October, 2010.

This discovery brought renewed interest to the much-maligned disease and a flurry of research was conducted in order to confirm the link.

On August 23rd 2010, US government scientists validated the link, announcing they had found an association between a family of infectious murine leukaemia viruses and ME/CFS. They reported that 87% of those sampled carried at least one of the retroviruses, along with 7% (1 in 14) of the healthy controls.

XMRV is similar to HIV, the retrovirus that causes AIDS.

Following the validation study several countries banned ME/CFS patients from giving blood. In many cases these bans are for life.

For more information on XMRV and the Whittemore Peterson Institute, please visit the following site:

If you would like to donate a regular, small amount to help push this research on, then please consider participating in the COUNT ME IN campaign. For more details visit:


Here are some links you might want to use:-

Key Scientific Papers & Related:

Detection of an Infectious Retrovirus, XMRV, in Blood Cells of Patients with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Science

Detection of MLV-related virus gene sequences in blood of patients with chronic fatigue syndrome and healthy blood donors

Aug. 23, 2010 – Detection of MLV-related virus gene sequences in blood of patients with chronic fatigue syndrome and healthy blood donors PNAS FDA Press Briefing

Blood Donor Bans:

Pertinent News & Blog Reports:

A Big Splash From an Upstart Medical Center New York Times

New Hope in Fatigue Fight Wall Street Journal

Viruses Found in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Patients – National Institute of Health NIH Research Matters

The Lingering Mystery of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Exhausted by Illness, and Doubts

XMRV and CFS – It’s not the end

Gearing Up for the Big Search for XMRV

Other XMRV Links:

Cleveland Clinic - 40% of patients with aggressive prostate cancer have XMRV

XMRV: Virological, immunological and clinical correlations in patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia and mantle cell lymphoma

Xenotropic Murine Leukemia Virus–related Gammaretrovirus in Respiratory Tract


Of mice and men: on the origin of XMRV

XMRV retrovirus found in 62% of ME patients tested in Lillestrøm, Norway


1st International Workshop on XMRV: Abstracts in Reviews in Antiviral Therapy & Infectious Diseases 2010_8. Abstracts

Distribution of xenotropic murine leukemia virus-related virus (XMRV) infection in chronic fatigue syndrome and prostate cancer

A Third Pathogenic and Lymphotropic Human Retrovirus AIDS Review