I agree... I agree in general re the multifactorial model, but what's often left out of the equation in discussions about XMRV (and CFS/ME in general) are other potential triggers, or IMHO probably multiple triggers that overwhelm the immune system, or cause it's dysfunction -- besides viral or bacterial infections. Or I should say perhaps...in addition to viral or bacterial infections. I hate to sound like a broken record, but many patients have found that mold was a huge issue (like Erik Johnson, from the Tahoe outbreak), or mercury and/or other heavy metals, not to mention pesticides and other chemical (environmental) exposures. All of these things may deplete glutathione, disrupt liver function/methylation, mess up gut function, and/or screw up immune function. Perhaps Rich could comment on this...? I also totally agree that it would be WONDERFUL if there was (or maybe IS) 'one' cause for CFS/ME. But I worry that some people may be putting all their eggs in one basket, and if...IF...XMRV doesn't turn out to be 'the' underlying cause, then...what will happen if you've pinned all your hopes on it? Just from my own experience, and from reading about other's stories, and from meeting people in my local area who I knew when they were very ill and have actually recovered (rare, but it does happen), or are recovering...I see a pattern: all had or have different triggers, different rates of onset, different areas of the body that are affected or not, and thus will need different tests and treatments to address those issues. I'll end by quoting Judy Mikovits, when asked a question about gradual onset cases: "Question: Is there differences between – because you’ve got a big population of patients with sudden onset and then you’ve got a big population that had gradual onset. And a lot of the gradual onset patients are worried that “Maybe I don’t fit this equation.” So what would you say to that? Judy: That little bump is smaller, so it’s not a huge burst. So that it was little insults over time. I think, for me anyway, I know only a handful that I’ve looked at, that I know the patients and I know what the onset was. But the gradual onset there’s no real difference between – it just depends on that environment, what the other triggers and events were that spurred it on. So I don’t see if you are gradual onset, it doesn’t mean that you might not be infected as well." okay, I'll shut up. :Retro smile: d-bex p.s. Thanks too, to Kurt, Cort, and Gerwyn and all for this discussion.