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Retrovirology Publishes Five Papers on XMRV and Contamination

Discussion in 'XMRV Research and Replication Studies' started by Countrygirl, Dec 20, 2010.

  1. Cort

    Cort Phoenix Rising Founder

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    Amy Dockser Marcus' Blog on the Findings

    http://blogs.wsj.com/health/2010/12/20/xmrv-raising-the-issue-of-contamination/

    Image: iStockphoto
  2. Jemal

    Jemal Senior Member

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    So, how come the British scientists are always making the boldest statements? Somehow it's mostly the British scientists stating contamination is a fact or concluding that the link between ME/CFS and XMRV does not exist. It's like they desparately want to bury XMRV.
  3. Cort

    Cort Phoenix Rising Founder

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    Very interesting! That indicates an infection....

    One of the big questions is where did XMRV come from? Did it come from that 22RV1 cell line and if it did - did it still make its way into humans and THEN become a pathogen? Does that make sense?

    What a mystery this all is......Its a head turner all the way around.

    There you go - the papers are warnings.....big warnings - but nothing definitive yet....I imagine they will be doing the IAP tests and looking for XMRV integration into human DNA in CFS (???).
  4. kurt

    kurt Senior Member

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    They used rat and goat antibodies that are cross-reactive with all MLV species (both polytropic and xenotropic). They probably calibrated the antibody study with the strain these new studies say is a mouse contaminant. Then they used that same test on patient samples that were also somehow contaminated. The point is that if contamination explains the PCR results it might also explain antibody results, because the antibody and PCR studies were both calibrated to the same contaminated strain found in the samples. Contamination would throw off more than the PCR results alone.
  5. Cort

    Cort Phoenix Rising Founder

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    On all levels and the US and elsewhere, I think it's true that in Science you generally trust the researchers that are the most cautious and the UK researchers seem more likely to draw conclusions than the US researchers...(Dr. Mikovits is, obviously something of an exception to that rule :))

    Coffin is always a big key for me; he's very smart and, to me, he's always been balanced and he is here again; he was a co-author of two of the papers and yet here he is very aptly pointing out that while these papers demonstrated that the danger of contamination is higher than previously thought, all these papers except for the Hue paper, were examples of what happened in individual situations....

    We don't know if any of those situations occurred at the WPI. The WPI, for instance, ran negative controls and so did Alter/Lo and nothing showed up....

    A really basic thing that's missing is handling the controls and patient samples in exactly the same way. That is what happened in Phase II of the BWG study and will continue happening in the next big phase.
  6. Jemal

    Jemal Senior Member

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    Ah well, I can finally go to bed now and sleep peacefully. Thanks to Amy Dockser Marcus :D
  7. Cort

    Cort Phoenix Rising Founder

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  8. eric_s

    eric_s Senior Member

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    Well, if the integration into human DNA is proof that the "XMRV is only contamination in any case, no human virus" theory by Hue et al. is wrong, it's sufficient if they could demonstrate integration in prostate cancer to kill the theory. Or am i wrong?
    So how could anyone even come to such a conclusion like Hue et al., let alone a journal publish that, if integration has been demonstrated?
  9. LJS

    LJS Insert Witty Comment Here

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  10. CBS

    CBS Senior Member

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    Cort,

    I suspect that the meaning of these articles will be evolving for sometime but I wanted to say thanks for your work today. A lot patients needed a way to keep this development in perspective and your work (above and beyond simply creating this space) capped off by ADM's article in the WSJ has helped a lot of people get a better night's sleep tonight.

    As for Coffin, I have no problem with a cautious thorough approach so long as those working on this issue recognize the real urgency and severity for some patients (those issues will impact each patient's risk/benefit analysis when it comes to comes to potential treatments).
  11. Cort

    Cort Phoenix Rising Founder

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    I had too many windows on my computer and messed up - it should be up now....Now I have to put Amy's blog back in.....:(
  12. Bob

    Bob

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    The Hue paper's main argument seems to rest on the Taqman primers not being specific to XMRV...
    But, to me, it seems there is a problem using this as your argument...

    If the Taqman primers are not specific to the "gag-leader deletion" in XMRV then they could well show up positive for XMRV when testing mice, even if there is no XMRV in mice. I might have missed it in the paper, but the researchers do not appear to have looked for the whole XMRV virus genome in mice, but I think they only looked for the segments with the "gag-leader deletion".

    If the Taqman primers are not specific to the "gag-leader deletion" in XMRV then the paper says that they could also detect mouse contaminants when testing human samples. But if mouse contamination is tested for in human studies, then that only leaves XMRV, and not any mouse contamination.
  13. Bob

    Bob

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    Yes, thank you Amy Dockser Marcus...

    What a different picture she paints to some of the other ridiculous "XMRV is dead" articles that have been linked to in this thread.
  14. Bob

    Bob

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    I wonder why the release of these articles was coordinated...
    Were they coordinated to cause maximum damage, and to ruin our Christmases, or were they delayed to avoid causing more confusion for the Blood Working Group meeting last week?

    Now that these negative studies have been published, will Judy be able to publish her stack of positive studies, for balance?

    Judy's study, describing an immune signature in XMRV positive patients, was supposed to be published in December... Has anyone heard any news of that at all?
  15. Cort

    Cort Phoenix Rising Founder

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    I have a graduate degree in environmental studies - I used to plough through journals all the time and they do themes all the time. Any time there's a hot topic they'll do a theme on it if they can......... I have no idea about the timing though.....not a particularly appealing one, that's for sure...

    A journal will be published next year, I've heard that will feature only XMRV. Perhaps there will be better news there.
  16. Bob

    Bob

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    Do you mean a Retrovirology journal featuring XMRV is to be published next year?
    And have you heard if any of Judy's unpublished studies will be published any time soon?
  17. Jim

    Jim Senior Member

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    Crazy idea - can the WPI hire Coffin as a consultant on any further test verifications? Ego's and $ probably make that unrealistic.
  18. Cort

    Cort Phoenix Rising Founder

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    I just heard that a journal will be publishing the Workshop results and any studies since then. I don't remember which one.
  19. Cort

    Cort Phoenix Rising Founder

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    There are dozens of reports on the web now. Here's from Science Blog - they have decided...as have some researchers....

    Its amazing how fast the UK media has jumped on this - they ignored the Alter study and they are going to town on this one......I don't see much from the US, though....quite a few Science blogs....but other than the WSJ - no major papers yet.

    This is what got me about the Hue paper...XMRV's similarity to these other mice retroviruses.

  20. Bob

    Bob

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    I wonder how the different XMRV strains fit into this theory...
    Judy has found a number of XMRV strains now, so I don't know how solidly their theory stands up, if the different strains were taken into account. To my knowledge the different XMRV strains haven't had any info published about them yet.

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