anciendaze asked me to post this for him because he is coping with a crisis unrelated to ME/CFS and didn't have time to write it up properly... he also says he may not have time to answer questions... there's also a few words of my own, taken from another discussion thread that i've linked to... So this is anciendaze's research, and mostly his words, not my own... ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ I have been digging into past retrovirus research to see if there have been other possible human retroviruses which have caused research disputes similar to the ongoing XMRV/PMRV drama, and this is what I found... There is a recent publication about a possible new retrovirus called the Human Mammary Tumor Virus (HMTV) which has 85-95% homology to the mouse mammary tumor virus (MMTV). This is stronger evidence than anyone has produced in the past. Research Paper, dated May 2010: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/cncr.25179/full Discussion thread, re HMTV: http://www.forums.aboutmecfs.org/sh...trovirus-in-breast-cancer&p=137155#post137155 This study has detected viral sequences of the HMTV virus, in inflammatory breast cancer (inflammatory breast cancer is a subset of breast cancers), in 71.5% of women in the USA, and in 73.7% of women in Tunisia. Normal breast tissue, tested as the healthy controls, tested at 1.4% positive for the viral sequences. So, with this research paper published, it looks like this is not one of those 'rumour viruses' that's going to disappear into oblivion... This research paper has shown that there is consistency in detecting this retrovirus in humans. It looks like a very significant development. I have also been told that a researcher at WPI is concentrating on a virus associated with inflammatory breast cancer. HMTV is a betaretrovirus So there maybe a real chance a beta retrovirus is lurking in humans. Going in another direction, I looked at problems in detecting bovine leukemia virus, a delta retrovirus. http://dial.academielouvain.be:8080/vital/access/manager/Repository/boreal:21617?site_name=UCL http://dial.academielouvain.be:8080/vital/access/services/Download/boreal:21617/PDF_01?view=true The bovine leukemia virus is widespread in cattle, and will almost certainly infect primates. This led me to think about the goat's milk at the center of the Lyndonville outbreak. Dr. David Bell investigated an outbreak of apparent ME/CFS among children in Lyndonville, NY on his own. He found those at the center of the outbreak had all drunk cocoa made with unpasteurized goat milk. Samples from these cases went to DeFreitas lab. at Wistar, where she found similarities to previous work she had done on an apparent MS outbreak in the Florida Keys. She associated this with HTLV-like sequences, which only says it was a delta retrovirus, not HTLV-I or HTLV-II. (This didn't stop other scientists from testing for HTLV-I and II, which then discredited her work when they couldn't detect anything.) Several aspects of this work differ from recent work on XMRV. Judy Mikovits has said DeFreitas virus was definitely not XMRV. What was it, or at least the C-type virus with a diameter of 70 nm. in those pictures? One candidate I considered was bovine leukemia virus, which is widespread in cattle, and offers familiar problems for detection. It is also likely to involve recombination. Poking around the data from the MS outbreak in the Keys, I noticed it took place among nurses at a hospital on Stock Island, named because it once housed a slaughterhouse serving Key West. This yielded a possible sequence of vectors: cattle => rats => cats => nurses In subtropical regions, where winter does not eliminate diseased animals, it is entirely possible for an epizootic to persist for decades. Several of the nurses kept Siamese cats. This doesn't prove anything, but it is a line for investigation. I believe people have followed up, but have avoided publishing because of prejudice over DeFreitas' work. Taken together, Bovine Leukiemia Virus, DeFreitas's virus, HMTV and XMRV/PMRV would point to the possibility of beta, delta and gamma retroviruses being in the blood supply. There is other evidence that beta and gamma retroviruses may have been in human populations for some time without being detected, and there has been controversy over such basics as copy numbers. Here's an article on a delta retrovirus, widespread in cattle (BLV), which explains the virus's 'strategy' for avoiding detection. http://dial.academielouvain.be:8080/vital/access/services/Download/boreal:21617/PDF_01?view=true This extract explains how, and why, these retroviruses are so difficult to detect: This is relevant to HTLV, another delta retrovirus found in some human populations. Is there a human virus resembling BLV? This would explain part of Elaine DeFreitas' findings. At this point, I believe we are talking about beta, gamma and delta retroviruses which are now in human populations, largely without being detected. This is not simply a problem connected with ME/CFS; there is a faulty assumption in most techniques for detecting retroviruses.