Xenotropic murine leukemia virus-related virus (XMRV)-specific proviral DNA has been recently detected in peripheral blood mononuclear cells of patients with chronic fatigue syndrome. Since chronic fatigue is commonly reported in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) we aimed at testing the presence of this virus in these patients.
Ninety-five SLE patients, 45 of whom had a Fatigue Severity Scale score higher than 3, were included. Molecular analyses were performed by PCR from DNA obtained from the whole blood of both SLE patients and 50 healthy controls.
None of the 145 samples analyzed yielded the specific XMRV PCR product.
We conclude that XMRV is not detected in blood neither from SLE patients nor from healthy controls. It leads to infer that other environmental and biological triggers (different from XMRV) may account for the increased levels of fatigue over the course of SLE.