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CDC XMRV Retrovirology Study on CFS Published

Discussion in 'XMRV Research and Replication Studies' started by KFG, Jul 1, 2010.

  1. pollycbr125

    pollycbr125 Senior Member

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    How thick am I , I saw this hours ago read the date and thought oh its old news 07.01.10. I read it as 7th January 2010 . I had forgotten they do the date the other way round to us which today would be 1 / 7 / 10
  2. VillageLife

    VillageLife Senior Member

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    I dont get it, when I went to bed last night the news was both papers have been held, I got an email last night from Jerry Holmberg telling me the papers were under review, I go to sleep and a few hours later the CDC paper is out!! whats going on???

    Statement from Dr. Harvey Alter, transmitted by the NIH Office of Communication and Public Liaison: "Our paper has not yet been accepted for publication. My colleagues and I are conducting additional experiments to ensure that the data are accurate and complete. Our goal is not speed, but scientific accuracy." Harvey A...lter, M.D

    WHY HAS THE CDC NOT BEEN MADE TO GO OVER THERE STUDY AGAIN!!!!
  3. Mark

    Mark Acting CEO

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    Haven't seen the mathematics of failure re-stated for some time, so...

    Multiple studies in US, Germany and Japan, at least, have found levels of XMRV in the healthy controls varying 2-7%. Assuming from these results a modest background infection rate of 3%, the probability of a study using a test that can detect XMRV in human infection finding none at all in a random population sample of N=104 would be 4.2% (1 in 25):

    (0.97)^N

    In the case of the CDC Western Blot on plasma alone, N=104 (53+51)

    3%....(0.97)^104 = 4.2%
    4%....(0.96)^104 = 1.4%
    5%....(0.95)^104 = 0.5%
    6%....(0.94)^104 = 0.2%
    7%....(0.93)^104 = 0.05%

    For the entire antibody test with 251 subjects...

    3%....(0.97)^251 = 0.05%
    4%....(0.96)^251 = 0.004%
    5%....(0.95)^251 = 0.0003%
    6%....(0.94)^251 = 0.00002%
    7%....(0.93)^251 = 0.000001%

    A series of studies find a background rate of XMRV that is all within the limits of tolerance of a varying background rate of 2-7%.

    Another series of studies all find none at all anywhere. These negative studies include some prostate cancer studies.

    Possibilities (ordered by most to least likely IMO):-

    1. Subtleties of the blood-draw and/or testing methodology are crucial to detection; the negative studies haven't got the trick of it.
    2. Cohort selection and geography are crucial; XAND and XMRV are geographically clustered (note: controls are usually taken from same area as patients so if studying a clustered epidemic this would be possible) and the CDC have been studying a different group of patients.
    3. The 6 positive studies are really finding something else, an artefact of detection technique.
    4. The 6 (? WPI, NIH, FDA, German prostate, 2*US prostate, ...?) studies that found XMRV are all subject to some sort of systematic contamination (unimaginable really given the consistent significant differential between patients and controls using blinded samples).

    By far the most likely is the first option, indeed further unpublished and leaked science seems to point in that direction, but the second could be an interesting possibility. The third is just feasible, and could become a complex question, if the XMRV genome is variable in a complex way - there could be lots of strains and some of them "aren't really XMRV as such", for example, but other MLVs, for example. The 4th just seems ridiculous and unfeasible, even if there were contamination of certain cell culture lines, it doesn't make sense...and seems to be the preferred option of Bad Scientits at the moment so far as I can tell, along with "they're all just making this up" (which didn't seem worthy of inclusion on my list above).

    Although the idea that XMRV could not swim was ludicrous, the idea that it could be highly clustered is not; some RVs are known to be geographically clustered. What makes this interesting is the idea, recently mooted here, that XMRV might only be infectious/contagious for a limited time after infection. Such a virus might spread rapidly and infect multiple people over a short space of time and then become dormant re: infectivity, and even potentially dormant re: causing symptoms, for decades or even generations. This whole scenario is interesting because of the isolated epidemics notable in the history of CFS - this sort of story does seem to have some consistency with what little is known about the epidemiology of CFS.

    Perhaps worryingly, if the CDC are able to maintain that "their" CFS contains no XMRV and we have been talking about different conditions all along, then that may become a fall-back position that is being attempted for the medium term: "their" CFS didn't have XMRV and they still could be psychosomatic. Or of course they might have YMRV, ZMRV,....
  4. Esther12

    Esther12 Senior Member

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    Interesting that the serology test didn't turn anything up. The CFS cohort stuff is pretty funny. Are they trying to piss us off?

    I'm going to wait for the other studies before thinking too seriously about this.
  5. Mark

    Mark Acting CEO

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    This, the song for today...
    Featuring a cameo from George, and William Reeves in a parachute...

    [video=youtube;etxd0z5TfiA]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=etxd0z5TfiA[/video]
  6. Jerry S

    Jerry S Senior Member

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    Thanks for doing the math, Mark.
  7. pollycbr125

    pollycbr125 Senior Member

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    where is this quote from village I have read so much this morning I am starting to loose track
  8. Rivotril

    Rivotril Senior Member

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  9. pollycbr125

    pollycbr125 Senior Member

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    Thanks I cannot say that I have read this elsewhere which makes me wonder how accurate a statement it is ? ? ? can anyone enlighten us :confused:
  10. jspotila

    jspotila Senior Member

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    That statement from Dr. Alter was received directly from the NIH Office of Communication and Public Liaison. Authenticity of the message was confirmed by the same office and permission to publish was granted. That's a statement from Dr. Alter.
  11. Frickly

    Frickly Senior Member

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    No one has been able to find a source for Dr. Alter's statement. I am waiting for the CFIDS to reply to our questions regarding the source. Seems odd....
  12. VillageLife

    VillageLife Senior Member

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    Publication of XMRV papers should not be blocked
    http://www.virology.ws/
    (Virology blog)
    30 June 2010

    The findings by the NIH and FDA that XMRV is associated with chronic fatigue syndrome has been accepted for publication by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). Release of the article has been blocked by PNAS due to work carried out by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). That study, which was submitted to Retrovirology, failed to find a link between XMRV and CFS. Its publication has also been placed on hold. According to ScienceInsider:

    The contradiction has caused nervousness both at PNAS and among senior officials within the Department of Health and Human Services, of which all three agencies are part, says one scientist with inside knowledge.

    It is senseless to block publication because the two papers reach different conclusions. If both manuscripts were subjected to proper peer-review, and were deemed acceptable by the referees, then they should be published. The journal editorial offices must respect the opinions of the reviewers. By overriding their decisions, they have compromised the entire peer reviewer process.

    Blocking publication also sends the wrong message to CFS patients, to the public, and scientists. Not only does this action raise suspicions about their motives are they trying to publish only the result they believe is correct? but it ignores the very important fact that science is self correcting. Scientists are humans, and they make mistakes. But eventually the right answer will come to the surface. And that is why PNAS and Retrovirology should respect peer review, publish the XMRV papers, and let science correct itself.
  13. Mark

    Mark Acting CEO

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    Archived samples. Notorious samples and notorious definition. But carry on...

    Does the highlighted section imply that the WB assay was controlled/calibrated
    - positively against samples containing purported antibodies to XMRV (and other MULVs)
    - negatively against all sera from blood donors?

    If the latter is implied then this WB test has been defined in such a way as to detect zero XMRV in the blood supply.

    The sensitivity looks way too low, no? Even with fresh blood, culture is often needed due to low copy count, way lower than this I thought, anybody have estimates of those numbers?

    Hmm...and does all this make you want to gag, or does it make you want to not gag? ;)
  14. Dr. Yes

    Dr. Yes Shame on You

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    Could you tell us the date of that statement, Jennie? And did he provide any further information?


  15. jspotila

    jspotila Senior Member

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    Date was yesterday, and I have no additional information.
  16. eric_s

    eric_s Senior Member

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    Damn.. now i'm getting angry.
    For days now, we could read that all the papers (the one by the CDC and the one (or two) by the NIH and FDA) have been accepted for publication but put on hold.
    It was reported in many articles.
    Here is a quote from "Science" (emphasis added)
    http://news.sciencemag.org/scienceinsider/2010/06/conflicting-papers-on-hold-as-xm.html

    Now all of a sudden we see the CDC paper published and we get a statement by Dr. Alter himself, where he says that his paper is not yet accepted.
    How is this possible??
    I trust him and i think he is probably one of the best around, but this does not make sense. Something is wrong here, this information is contradictory.

    Unfortunately this is not possible here, because it's not a criminal case, but i feel like we should have a judge send police in there and confiscate all the info, so we will know the truth.
    I have never believed in conspiracy theories but now this is starting to look strange. If Dr. Alter comes out with something like "Oops, we've had it wrong", then i don't know what to believe anymore.
    Let's hope that this will not happen. And there's still the WPI that will not give up and the other upcoming studies that are supposed to be positive, as CFS Central has reported.

    Sorry, but now i'm starting to get nervous..
  17. Mark

    Mark Acting CEO

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    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000...googlenews_wsj
    :confused:
  18. Esther12

    Esther12 Senior Member

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    Does seem odd.

    Any news on what Atler was checking? Or how long it would take?
  19. VillageLife

    VillageLife Senior Member

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    The whole things a mess but at least the US have tried, the UK are just burying their heads in the sand!
  20. CBS

    CBS Senior Member

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    The conclusion in the abstract reads:

    It really ought to read:

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