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Can Rats Spread XMRV to Humans?

Discussion in 'XMRV Testing, Treatment and Transmission' started by Mya Symons, Aug 6, 2010.

  1. Mya Symons

    Mya Symons Mya Symons

    This is a weird post and I am slightly embarrassed to write it, but it is something I have been wondering for a while.

    I have several family members who have CFS and/or Fibromyalgia. Most of them are on my husband's side. I have a sister-in-law that has had CFS/ME for several years. I believe it has been over 15 years now, possibly twenty. If we have a virus, unfortunately, it probably started with her.

    However, I was wondering if there might be another connection. Here is the story:

    I worked as a commercial driver for several years. I worked a split shift and the traffic where I lived was horrible (4th worst in the U.S.). So, like many of the other employees, I would sleep in my vehicle in the middle of my shifts. The lot was across from a garbage dump. There were a lot of birds that would fly in your windows and scramble around until they figured out how to get out. There were also huge rats that ran around the lot in between exterminations. I brought my lunch with me to work every day in a small soft cooler. There were times when I would fall asleep right after eating. For several days I was waking up because I heard something scrambling around in my vehicle. I assumed it was birds trying to get out until one day I woke up and noticed a hole chewed through my cooler. It was then I realized I had probably been sharing my lunch with a rat for several days. (I never again slept in my vehicle after this by the way.) I am describing this because a short time later I got sicker than I have ever been in my life. I had problems with swollen lymph nodes, headaches, and sore throats before the rat incident; however, this time the lymph nodes were so swollen they were popping out. The headache and sore throat were also worse and I had added symptoms of high fever and so much phlegm that I was vomiting phlegm. This is when the fibro and joint pain came and never went away. Believe it or not, I never liked doctors so I did not go. It seemed to get better in the sense that I no longer had the high fever or all the phlegm. I questioned then whether that rat had made me sick, but was too embarrassed to ask my doctor.

    I feel like a hypochondriac asking this: Does anyone know or think that rats could spread XMRV? Has there been anything written about this. I know the murine in the name stands for mouse, but does that include rats? Did anyone else who had a quick onset experience a lot of phlegm coming from sinuses and coughing up from lungs? (I have not tested positive for XMRV yet. I was waiting for the cheaper Assay/Antibody test to come out. I cant afford to pay $450.00.)
  2. judderwocky

    judderwocky Senior Member

    You migh find these interesting:

    As far as XMRV going directly from mice to humans or mice to cats.... XMRV itself seems to have human-ish dna in it, so i've heard people say several times that its a human virus.... but i think the above studies might shed an interesting light on its origin :)
  3. ukme

    ukme Senior Member

    Interesting. Saw KDM last week who asked if we had any pets, when we answered in the affirmative (cats, rabbits, hamster) he commented that in that case he should test for XMRV.
  4. ukxmrv

    ukxmrv Senior Member

    Thanks for this.

    I think that was supposed to be in the XMRV+ questionnaire (about links to animals).

    When we first started talking about XMRV there were threads with peoples comments on exposure to cats and mice.

    I've been boring people senseless for decades talking about my own exposure to a sick cat around the time I got ill.

    Even if XMRV is different to the versions found in other mammals there could still be an important "trigger" or something that we are picking up from them.
  5. Countrygirl

    Countrygirl Senior Member

    I have just been reading a paper published in 1976 about Xenotropic MuLVs by Hartley and Rowe, and they say that these viruses infect humans, rats, guinea pigs and minks, but not hamsters, cats, quails or ducks. Does this mean, therefore, that we could become infected by a blood product from a pet guinea pig or a rat?
  6. urbantravels

    urbantravels disjecta membra

    Los Angeles, CA
    XMRV is very similar (98% similar genes) to a mouse retrovirus, and is thought to have originally mutated from a mouse retrovirus, but it is NOT found in mice (and they've looked for it in many species of mice). It is only found in humans - and now they have succeeded in artificially infecting other primates, for research. XMRV cannot infect a mouse or rat because they don't have the proper receptors for it.

    There is a big family of similar viruses that infect other animals, but XMRV appears to be a human virus. If you or I have it, it came from another person - not a mouse, rat, or other animal.

    Source: TWIV podcast with Dr. Stephen Goff, 4/4/10
  7. Mya Symons

    Mya Symons Mya Symons

    Hmmm. If it mutated from the mouse version would that mean a human was exposed to the mouse version, and; inside that human, the mouse version mutated? How did the original infected person get it? Could a mouse or a rat be a vector?--A vector in the sense that the mouse or rat are not infected by the human version of XMRV but carry it around until it finds a human host to infect?
  8. acer2000

    acer2000 Senior Member

    FWIW the cat version of XMRV - FeLV has been found in fleas. I don't have the links on this laptop, but I'll post them when I find them. There has been some question whether FeLV could be transmitted to humans either directly from cats, or indirectly via bugs. I am not sure the testing for FeLV in humans is good enough for them to rule it in or out, but they have done experiements on this.

    So yeah, its a possible theory with XMRV and I think they should look into it. It had to get into humans somehow...

    [EDIT: here is a link I'll post others later] Symposium_2006.pdf
  9. Mya Symons

    Mya Symons Mya Symons

    I found Professor Steve Goff's response to a question about rats and receptors at this address:

    The question was the following: If XMRV infects rats, then why couldn't it be zoonotic from rats, who at some point got it from mice?

    Steve Goff's reply to your question: "Right, we should assume the
    virus may be present in many mammals (most have the receptor), and so
    it may be transmitted as an exogenous virus widely among many mammals,
    including rats and primates. Indeed, although lab strains of mice do
    not have a functional receptor and so are resistant, many wild mice
    are sensitive. Humans may have acquired the virus from any number of
    mammals. Mice, rats, and others are all possible sources. We simply
    happen to know that mice have integrated copies of very, very, similar
    viruses in their genomes (while rats and most other mammals do not).
    On that basis my bet is that mice are very likely a source."

    Evidentily some wild mice have the receptors and might have passed the virus on to rats who passed it on to humans? Also he states many mammals may have it. I assume this would include cats. Am I reading this wrong? Does someone else get a different interpretation? Did he discover later that this was not correct?

    My interpretation of this is that he is saying that these animals may "carry" the human version of XMRV, but without the proper receptors, some may not get infected.

    Here is another summary of a study that says Murine Leukemia Virus is found in the cerebellum of rats. It is over my head though. Maybe someone who is more familiar with this article could explain. Please and Thank you.
  10. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member

    Logan, Queensland, Australia

    This raises a disturbing possibility that I have been trying to ignore and not quite succeeding. Can anyone say "cows, pigs and sheep"? Rare steaks anyone?


  11. Min

    Min Guest

    I have been wondering too about transmission via biting insects from other animals (and other humans!) as many of us also have Lyme disease and co-infections.

    Until world wide governments stop funding only psychological research we will not know, and if we are being infected by contaminated vaccinations we will never know as it will always be covered up.

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