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Is there a connection between XMRV and HHV-6/7

Discussion in 'XMRV Research and Replication Studies' started by guest, Jun 30, 2010.

  1. guest

    guest Guest

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    Hi.

    I wonder if those people that were tested positive for HHV-6/7 are also XMRV positive? I mean they were not tested but when the Science numbers are correct a high number of them probably is/was XMRV positive.

    This leads us to the next question. Some of them completely recovered after treatment with Valcyte. What effect did the Valcyte have? Did it stop HHV-6/7 and the body took care of XMRV or is there another explanation or connection between HHV-6/7 and XMRV?

    The 2nd Montoya study had pretty bad results regarding efficiancy of Valcyte but in my eyes there are many people who got helped by virostatics like Valcyte or Valtrex and this is what maybe is surprising when XMRV is a main cause for CFS. To put it in other words, are HHV-6/7 just co-infections to XMRV?
     
  2. JillBohr

    JillBohr Senior Member

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    Interesting question. My speculation is that XMRV allows viruses to fester or stay active and prevents the immune system from fighting these viruses.
     
  3. judderwocky

    judderwocky Senior Member

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    agreed... they know that XMRV at least circumvents part of in the innate immune response in the same way HIV does... and i think they have theorized that there are ways it can trigger others...
     
  4. Bob

    Bob

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    It's an interesting question that I've been thinking about since Dr Martin Lerner recently reported successfully treating people with CFS with anti-virals. Lerner was testing for, and treating, the Herpes family of viruses (EBV, HCMV, HHV-6) with valacyclovir (Valtrex) or valgancyclovir (Valcyte).

    It seems to me that the possibilities are as follows:

    1. XMRV could work in a similar way to HIV. When an HIV patient's illness progresses, the symptoms that are experienced are due to the opportunistic nature of our everyday viruses, such as HHV-6. Indeed, if my memory serves me right, one of the herpes viruses was first discovered due to infection in HIV/AIDS patients. In the case of Martin Lerner's studies, it could be that his anti-virals are successfully treating the secondary, opportunistic, viruses such as HHV-6 but that XMRV stays within the body. The opportunistic Herpes viruses might directly be causing the symptoms, rather than the XMRV. On it's own, without opportunistic secondary infection, XMRV infection might not cause any illness symptoms. After the Herpes viruses have been treated, the patients' natural bodily defenses may then be able to naturally keep the worst of the XMRV damage at bay (or to naturally keep the viral load low), due to a strengthened immune system, just as there are people who are XMRV carriers, but who are not ill with CFS, according to the Science paper.

    2. It might be a lucky coincidence that the anti-virals that Martin Lerner is using actually kills the XMRV virus, or indirectly leads to a reduction in viral load, but no one has studied this effect of these anti-virals yet. The possible coincidental reduction of XMRV due to treatment with these anti-virals maybe the reason for the 'recovery' experienced by patients (i.e. a reduction of XMRV viral load leads to recovery). I don't know if anyone has yet tested valacyclovir (Valtrex) or valgancyclovir (Valcyte) directly on XMRV, but even if these drugs are thought to be ineffective at directly killing XMRV, they might still indirectly lead to a reduction of the viral load of XMRV through processes not yet known about. (I'm not up-to-date on all the research, and there's so much info to retain, that I can't hope to remember it all anyway!)

    3. It maybe that CFS/ME is not caused by either XMRV or Herpes virus infections, but that these are both opportunistic infections which take hold in a weakened immune system caused by some not yet understood disease process. Treating the Herpes viruses with anti-virals may allow a patient's body to strengthen its natural defenses, and to possibly 'reset' the body's defense system, and maybe this is what leads to a recovery. (XMRV may yet be proved to be a passenger virus in a previously weakened immune system.)

    4. Or another possibility (and i've added this since reading the next post - Hope's post) is that those patients treated with anti-virals for Herpes family viruses, by Dr Lerner, might not have had any XMRV infection, but that particular ME/CFS cohort could have some other cause, such as a prolonged HHV-6 infection or some other immune system disruption.
     
  5. Hope123

    Hope123 Senior Member

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    The Singh paper did test a variety of antivirals apart from antiretrovirals. I'm not in the mood to dig through my papers but it's in their table -- ?acyclovir and ?cidofivir ?ganciclovir (Valcyte). Anyhow, the antivirals tested did not affect XMRV much in a test tube.

    My simplistic thought about why some people recover is that they are not affected by XMRV but have chronic versions of infections that have not been recognized. This is from cases of people who have had CFS for years but are EBV IgM positive (some in the Lerner group; other independent reports) and people who have documented acute parvovirus infection who later develop CFS (Kerr). The former get wholly well with Valtrex; the latter with IVIG. It would interesting to check the XMRV status of those who recover well with these methods vs. those who tried these methods but had no/ little benefits.
     
  6. CBS

    CBS Senior Member

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    I'm not so sure that the recovered group and those that haven't are necessarily different (based solely on my experience). I was quite sick for four years then I "recovered" for six years. Then I "un-recovered" quite severely and for the last six years have been much more severely ill than I ever was during the first four years. I suspect that it has something to do with stages of infection and the processes (inflammation) the dominate during these phases. In the early stages, I found that rest was much more beneficial (not curative) and the life threatening neural and immune issues less predominant than in the latest stages. FWIW
     
  7. Forbin

    Forbin Senior Member

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    My (current) simplistic guess is that XMRV remains latent until it is unleashed by a severe or cumulative stress/activation of the immune system such as by a potent flu virus or anything else that over-stimulates the immune system in the presence of latent XMRV. The rapidly dividing immune system cells themselves may be replicating XMRV. Once active, XRMV may weaken and/or occupy the immune system and thus promote other infections. What we think of as CFS might be XMRV, or it might be those other infections, or both, or perhaps merely the immune response to either or both of those. The variability in CFS severity and response to treatment, however, may depend on the number and type of co-pathogens. If most or all of those co-pathogens can all be treated simultaneously, then perhaps the immune system has the wherewithal to re-suppress XRMV back into a more or less latent state. If only one of many co-pathogens is treated, XMRV may remain active and the treated co-pathogen may itself reactivate once treatment is discontinued.

    Just my guess.
     
  8. Bob

    Bob

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    Hi Forbin,
    I think my own opinion is exactly the same as yours, at the moment...
    I really appreciated reading your thoughts... you've expressed it all really clearly... so thank you! :Retro smile:
    And I don't think your thoughts are 'simplistic' at all! They seem really sophisticated to me! (Not that I'm an expert, so what would I know!)
    Bob
     
  9. Rrrr

    Rrrr Senior Member

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    yes, all the thinking on this thread is good. nice job, folks.
     
  10. Bob

    Bob

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    It's another interesting question...

    There hasn't been any proper testing of anti-retro-virals for XMRV yet... there's only been some preliminary tests in test tubes... Proper drug testing takes years, and those that can seem promising at first, often end up being not much use when tested on a large scale in a real-life situation... The current anti-retro-virals were released onto the market for HIV, not XMRV. So we don't know if any of the current anti-retro-virals will be effective against XMRV in a real-life situation, even if they look effective in a test tube.

    Another thing to consider is that even if XMRV is effectively treated in an individual patient, it doesn't mean that the body automatically recovers, even if XMRV is the cause of ME/CFS, which we don't know yet. It might take years for the body to recover properly after getting rid of the virus.

    If there are co-infections which are causing the symptoms, such as HHV-6, then maybe it's not as simple as killing off the XMRV, leading to a recovery. Maybe the body needs to recover, and the secondary infections need to be treated, or fought off by the body, before a recovery from the illness can be experienced.

    And of course, we don't yet know if XMRV actually causes ME/CFS, of what the role of XMRV will prove to be.
     
  11. Overstressed

    Overstressed Senior Member

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    ...or there might be irrepairable damage caused by the virus, which means that killing the virus might not solve the problem. If I'm informed correctly, this virus causes genes to mutate, and if the virus is gone, you're left with mutated genes that maybe code for not very healthy enzymes...

    OS.
     
  12. coxy

    coxy Senior Member

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    Hi, the other side of the coin & i know we've had threads on this before is that approx 50% of us seem to pick up every virus going and the other 50% seem to pick up nothing on top of the ME. How do we explain that. Our family members who are ill are on the side that don't catch anything. I feel like i'm getting a normal virus sometimes, i feel like i've got a temperature, but it only rises to 36 degrees which is a fever to me as i'm usually stuck down in the 34 degrees brrrrr!
     
  13. Bob

    Bob

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    I believe that retroviruses insert their DNA into our own DNA, within our infected cells, and then the XMRV viruses copy themselves (reproduce) when our cells divide...

    I'm not sure how anti-retrovirals work... whether they only kill independent viruses, or if they only stop the viruses from reproducing, and if they enable our cells to take out all virus DNA from within our own strands of DNA.

    If anti-retrovirals do not enable our cells to take out the inserted strands of viral DNA from within our own DNA, then treatment would only be totally successful once all of our cells which have been infected, have died off, leaving no viral DNA inserted within our own DNA.

    Unfortunately I don't know enough about virology and antiretrovirals to answer these interesting questions.
     
  14. Overstressed

    Overstressed Senior Member

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    Hi Bob,

    there are antiretrovirals that prevent viruses inserting their DNA in human DNA. But there is -to date- no antiviral that cuts out already inserted DNA. However, some scientist have created such an enzyme, that just cuts out the inserted DNA. You can try googling 'scissor enzyme+hiv' and you might find this. None of the antivirals kill the virus in fact. They just keep the virus in check, by interrupting the virus during it's various lifecycle steps.

    Personally I think that it causes damage through -and not only- having genes mutated, so killing the virus might not solve the problem at all. If I'm correct, you see little proof of that already with people taking AZT and some other AR's, it makes little difference.

    OS.
     
  15. Bob

    Bob

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    OS, thank you, for that very helpful info...
    It's really interesting about the enzyme 'scissors' for HIV... I hadn't come across that research before.
    Medicine is becoming so sophisticated and complex these days!
     
  16. guest

    guest Guest

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    That sounds very interesting. But how does the enzyme know which part of the DNA was inserted by the virus and which part was not?
     
  17. Bob

    Bob

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    What enzymes do, in general terms, is they attached themselves to proteins...
    That's how enzymes work in laundry powder, for example.
    A specific enzyme is 'designed' to attach itself to a specific protein (or amino acid)...
    DNA is a protein, because it's a chain of amino acids...
    So therefore, an enzyme can be 'designed' to attach itself specifically to the HIV DNA which gets inserted into our own DNA.

    This is a simplistic, non-specific explanation of how enzymes work... I haven't actually looked at this research in detail.
    Also, where I've used the word 'designed' in relation to enzymes, I've used it loosely... it might mean that an enzyme is 'designed', 'discovered', 'bred' or developed in some other way.
     
  18. Bob

    Bob

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    I'm afraid that I'm a bit out of my depth here, but I would imagine that it would necessary to create an enzyme which attaches to only a small portion of the HIV DNA, not the entire length of the DNA (they would choose a portion of HIV DNA that is unique to HIV), and so they could choose a section of the DNA which doesn't mutate very often. (I think that some sections of DNA mutate far more often than others... but don't quote me on that!)

    Yes, a bit of futuristic nanotechnology might come in handy for us right now!

    I have read that research scientists have helped some auto-immune diseases by 'resetting' the immune system, a bit like the way you describe... The way they achieved this was to create some stem cells from the patient's bone marrow, then to remove all of the white blood cells from the patient's blood, and then to insert the stem cells into the blood stream... At least, i think that's how they did it... but my memory isn't great... i can't remember what illness they did this for, but i think it was an autoimmune disease... It wasn't in order to kill off a virus, but it was to 'reset' an inflamed, over-active immune system by removing all of the over-active immune cells (white blood cells). Allowing the immune system to start from scratch meant that it started up again properly, and not over-active or inflamed. I think they said they'd had some success with it, and there was some suggestion that it might be helpful for ME, but that was before the XMRV news came out.

    Yes, me too!
     
  19. MaryAnn

    MaryAnn

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    Correct me if wrong, but I thought a major issue may be that XMRV is able to “hide out” / “in reservoirs,” which is another reason it is difficult to find.

    HIV was recently found to 'hide' in bone marrow, which may be why individuals have to continue to take RV.
     
  20. Bob

    Bob

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    Hi MaryAnn,
    I'm afraid I don't know much about HIV, so I can't answer that for certain myself...
    But I would have guessed that most drugs get into all the body's tissues, even the 'reservoirs' of infection...
    I think that antibiotics do anyway (for example, antibiotics get into abscesses), but I'm out of my depth here, so I'm just guessing...
    Bob
     

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