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Article: Dr. Mikovits and Dr. Racaniello on XMRV

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Cort....you should sign this one with your last name. I understand it and so far it seems to make some sence and I am not a virologist.... Good work
 
Great article, Cort, and hopeful news. Thanks for interviewing Drs Mikovits and Racaniello.

Roll on those two true replication studies!
 
Good idea - forgot to do that. Thanks
 
She sounds very hopeful about the replications studies as well as some others on the way that have good cohorts. She sounds like we'll have some good news soon. ;)
 
Thanks Cort

A thoughtful, excellent, balanced article. I learned a lot. The only comment I'd add is vis a vis the Prelude. I believe that XMRV is less and less "up in the air". Racaniello and Mikovits and you presented many cogent arguments that other researchers are still missing the boat in lab and cohort selection methods. Not the least of which are Racaniello's stunning (thank you!) comments:
<link rel="File-List" href="file:///E:%5CDOCUME%7E1%5CDANIEL%7E1%5CLOCALS%7E1%5CTemp%5Cmsohtml1%5C01%5Cclip_filelist.xml">I suspect that the single most important variable in the negative studies is how you define the patient population. They are probably looking at very different subsets."
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In my view the CDC paper should not have been published without a proper positive control, eg patient samples known to contain XMRV. If I had reviewed the CDC paper that<st1:personname w:st="on">'</st1:personname>s what I would have asked for.
Wow. Good news too that as per Dr Mikovits:
I know of at least two true replication studies that are being done in very well characterized CFS cohorts.
Thank you Cort.
 
Thanks, Cort! Excellent article.

I haven't always felt comfortable with the back and forth between the WPI and other labs but I do appreciate their frustration with a dearth of actual replication studies. Mikovits is right on in that good replication studies should have come first followed by work to determine what if any meaning should be ascribed to the Science findings once they were confirmed (or dis-confirmed).

I'm very much looking forward to Drs. Bateman and Racaniello on Thursday.

Parvo - good point.
 
Really great work...enjoyed it very much! I look forward to your reporting everyday!

Elisabeth
 
The cohort issue can't be the deciding factor - it has to be down to either contamination with the WPI or inappropriate testing from the negative studies. The zero results are significantly lower than the WPI's results for healthy controls.

It would be nice to hear a real discussion directly between Mikovits and Racaniello, but thanks to Cort for acting as the go-between on this one.
 
I just sent this the CAA:


I have a question that I was hoping Dr. Racaniello could address in the upcoming webinar on XMRV (July 15, 2010).

In an interview with Cort Johnson of Phoenix Rising (http://www.forums.aboutmecfs.org/content.php?187-Dr-Mikovits-and-Dr-Racaniello-on-XMRV),
Dr. Racaniello is quoted as stating that:

“I suspect that the single most important variable in the negative studies is how you define the patient population. They are probably looking at very different subsets."

In the same article, Dr. Racaniello is also quoted as saying:

“In my view the CDC paper should not have been published without a proper positive control, eg patient samples known to contain XMRV. If I had reviewed the CDC paper that's what I would have asked for.”

In light of the absence of a proper XMRV positive control (in any of the four negative XMRV studies published to date), is it possible to draw any conclusions about the impact of cohort, when the Science study found that 3.7% of their healthy controls were also XMRV positive by the methods used in that study?

Wouldn't the lack of a demonstrated ability to find XMRV in actual patients obscure any differences in patient cohort?

Thank you for your time and for hosting what I expect will be a very interesting and closely watched presentation.
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Cort,

Great interviews and a fantastic article. Dr. Racaniello's independent statement about the lack of a proper patient controls is very telling. (I've been wondering about those peer reviewers...) He was much more generous to the CDC on TWIV right after publication. He's obviously dug in a bit, which I'm glad to see.

I learned a great deal as well.

Great stuff. I say blog this one. Let's get the word out there. The lay press will never get this level of detail but many patients and advocates will.

Otis
 
I'm not sure Racaniello was interpreting Mikovits correctly when he said:

"But I do think that at least some of the published studies were sufficiently sensitive to detect XMRV if it were there. Note that Dr. Mikovits says that you might need to amplify 1 microgram of DNA from unactivated, cultured human cells, which is what was done in the CDC study."
I think Mikovits was referring to biological amplification prior to extraction, not to standard PCR amplification. Perhaps her statement could have been clearer, but if I am correct then I believe Racaniello misunderstood it. I can't find any reference to biological amplification (i.e. activation/ culture) of cells in the CDC study (and there is none in any of the other negative studies). Racaniello seems to be speaking only of routine PCR amplification of extracted DNA.

ETA - Mikovits may also have been referring to amplification by RT-PCR, which was also not done in the CDC study..
 
This guy Cort Johnson is really great. He is the best. I am always amazed at how quickly and how well he puts together this information that makes things clearer and more comprehensible for the rest of us - and the amazing thing is that he does it every day. It is not easy to assemble this information. Sometimes I wonder how he does it - and even why he does it. I just hope he knows just how many people appreciate his efforts of their behalf. Thanks Cort!

Chris

http://cfspatientadvocate.blogspot.com
 
Excellent article, Cort. Enjoyable read as well. Just one comment--in the study that the Drs. Light are doing with Dr. Ila Singh, they are culturing the virus. I don't know if they are doing a replication study, as I read somewhere on these forums that Dr. Singh has developed her own methods of detecting XMRV.
 
Thanks, Cort. You do a great job of explaining some fairly heavy-duty science as well as cutting through all the emotion that tends to swamp discussions of XMRV and the like.
 
Excellent article, Cort. Enjoyable read as well. Just one comment--in the study that the Drs. Light are doing with Dr. Ila Singh, they are culturing the virus. I don't know if they are doing a replication study, as I read somewhere on these forums that Dr. Singh has developed her own methods of detecting XMRV.
That's great to hear that Dr. Singh is culturing the virus. None of the studies have done this. This is soooo technical but I assume that the WPI is culturing the virus out of patient samples and then looking at it very closely and that's where the difference is.

There still are alot of questions...the WPI was able to find it without culturing in PCR early on, if I understood this right...my impression was that Dr. Mikovits thinks that the Science patients were really ill and that may differentiate them from the patients in the other studies; XMRV may be there but in a slightly different form that they are not looking for.

Thanks for the nice comments :Retro smile:
 
The cohort issue can't be the deciding factor - it has to be down to either contamination with the WPI or inappropriate testing from the negative studies. The zero results are significantly lower than the WPI's results for healthy controls.

It would be nice to hear a real discussion directly between Mikovits and Racaniello, but thanks to Cort for acting as the go-between on this one.
I agree that the cohort can't be the deciding factor - but it could contribute and when you throw these other factors they should drive the results down. My guess is yours, though, it's methodological errors on someones part that are chiefly responsible for the discrepancies. I think Dr. Racaniello is overestimating how different that initial cohort was. Dr. Mikovits thinks most people who fit the CCC definition will test positive.
 
Ditto on the great article. It's good to hear that Dr. Racaniello has closely looked at the CDC paper and that he understands the cohort issue. I wonder if he gets the politics as well?

Great job!

Lynn