Amy Dockser Marcus: XMRV: Testing the Blood Supply

Otis

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Some highlights:

One study will involve collecting donations from over 10,000 healthy people in six different geographic areas to look for evidence of XMRV or related viruses called murine leukemia viruses (MLVs), either through the detection of antibodies or the presence of small amounts of viral RNA. The tests will be run by Gen-Probe and Abbott Laboratories, two companies that have been developing tests for XMRV and MLVs. Sample collection will start soon.
The second study involves a linked donor-recipient blood repository that the Red Cross maintains. The group will be looking at 120 recipients who got blood from over 4,000 donors. Donors will be tested to see if they are positive for XMRV or MLVs, and then recipients will be tested to see if there was transmission of the virus through transfusions. The donor samples were collected in Connecticut. The study is being done in collaboration with the Yale-New Haven Hospital and is in the planning stages right now, Stramer says.
Despite the confusion in the field, the Red Cross’s Stramer says, “It’s time to move forward.”
That's for sure!
 

Lynn

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Thanks Otis. This was a good, positive forward looking article. Thank goodness for Amy Dockser Marcus!

Lynn
 

WillowJ

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thanks for the link, Otis.

and yes, another good and balanced article from Amy Dockser Marcus
 

biophile

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All this talk of "moving forward" with large scale studies is great as long as those responsible for the testing can reliably detect these retroviruses in clinical samples.
 

Mark

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Quite right, biophile. In these particular studies, I'd feel much more comfortable to know for sure that they will be using somebody who can definitely detect XMRV in ME/CFS patients, and quite happy to wait for that. Carrying on testing using techniques that are known not to work would be worse than just a waste of time and money...it'd be threatening to the future of XMRV research. "Oh we can't sit around waiting, let's just get on with it and test now...even if we don't know how to find it yet" doesn't sound too smart to me. Unless, of course, they know something we don't...
 

Jemal

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Yeah, the nightmare scenario for me is that they are going to test 10.000 people, but can't detect XMRV. That would certainly be an enormous blow to XMRV research.
Otherwise a very hopeful article though.
 

eric_s

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This is basically the same that was presented in the CFIDS Association's webinar, if i'm not mistaken. So basically, they are talking about the XMRV Blood Working Group's next phases. Correct me if i'm wrong... Good to read nevertheless.
 

LJS

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The tests will be run by Gen-Probe and Abbott Laboratories, two companies that have been developing tests for XMRV and MLVs. Sample collection will start soon.
Gen-Probe was unable to find XMRV in any of the samples in BWG phase II. So hopefully they are planing on waiting until they get things figured out before testing 10,000 samples. Though I think this takes place in phase IV so we will see how there testing is when the results of phase III are released.
 

Otis

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Gen-Probe was unable to find XMRV in any of the samples in BWG phase II. So hopefully they are planing on waiting until they get things figured out before testing 10,000 samples. Though I think this takes place in phase IV so we will see how there testing is when the results of phase III are released.
There's a huge profit motive to get this right, the demand for testing will be huge if they find XMRV in numbers in these tests. We're at a difficult point in that we're still working out how to find this bug in the blood when we take our time and use multiple methods, but there is obviously enough givernment concern to move into larger volume testing. I too hope calmer heads prevail and this isn't rushed into. I'll settle for knowing the money and interest (meaning some level of upper-level concern) for large-scale testing are there while phase III (hopefully) gives us better answers.
 

urbantravels

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The speakers in the BWG webinar indicated that Gen-Probe was redesigning their assay, since it didn't escape anyone's notice that it didn't work at all in Phase II.

If you'll recall, the Webinar had two speakers, the first talking about the Phase II results and the plans for Phase II, and the second talking about "proposed" larger-scale tests. I believe these larger-scale tests are what we are hearing about now. But no, they don't plan to do testing with high-throughput methods until they've designed one that works.