• Welcome to Phoenix Rising!

    Created in 2008, Phoenix Rising is the largest and oldest forum dedicated to furthering the understanding of, and finding treatments for, complex chronic illnesses such as chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS), fibromyalgia, long COVID, postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS), mast cell activation syndrome (MCAS), and allied diseases.

    To become a member, simply click the Register button at the top right.

Environmental triggers in retroviruses


kelly posted this to co-cure 2010 01 12

Environmental triggers in retroviruses

kelly: One of the current conversations in medical science is regarding which triggers or combination of triggers can set off a pathogenic process when in combination with viruses. Although this specific study focuses on the autoimmune disease Lupus, and the retrovirus referred to is not XMRV, these principles are being applied in many different processes. For example, Dr.
Nancy Klimas is reportedly doing research on Gulf War veterans regarding XMRV. Because it can be proven that these veterans were exposed to a number of adverse environmental factors this has many different implications.
Lupus. 2009 Nov;18(13):1136-43.

Cross-talk of the environment with the host genome and the immune system through endogenous retroviruses in systemic lupus erythematosus**

Blank M, Shoenfeld Y, Perl A.

Center for Autoimmune Diseases, an Department of Medicine B, Sheba Medical Center, Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel-Aviv University, Tel-Hashomer, Israel.

Environmental factors are capable of triggering the expression of human endogenous retroviruses and induce an autoimmune response.

Infection can promote the expression of human endogenous retroviruses by molecular mimicry or by functional mimicry. There are additional mechanisms which may control the expression of human endogenous retroviruses, such as epigenetic status of the genome (hypomethylation, histone deacetylation).

Ultraviolet exposure, chemicals/drugs, injury/stress, hormones, all as a single cause or in a concert, may modulate the involvement of human endogenous retroviruses in pathogenic processes.

In the current review we summarize the current knowledge on infections, molecular mimicry, cross-reactivity and epigenetics contribution for trigger human endogenous retroviruses expression and pathogenesis in lupus patients.

PMID: 19880559 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]


Ultraviolet exposure

This is interesting, would this explain why so many ME patients report feeling worse or even have a relapse after extensive time in sunlight? (e.g. sunbathing).


Senior Member
This intrests me as well
Ultraviolet exposure

I have gone from someone that was always in the sun, I worked as a gardner and was never in doors in the summer.

Now I can hardly tolerate it, and it does magnify my symptoms.

Hysterical Woman

Senior Member
East Coast

Hi IF,

Thanks for the post - very interesting. I was working at a hazardous waste disposal facility when I became ill. Both my primary care doc and Dr. Lerner believe that it is a high probability that it was a contributing factor.

Take care,



Senior Member
Clay, Alabama
So if it turns on endogenous viruses, then does this reaction cause an illness? If so, then endogenous viruses are not necessarily always benign. If it doesn't cause illness, then the question is still out there, with the assumption remaining that endogenous viruses do not cause illness.

I just don't think we know enough to make blanket statements about viruses and their behavior. It used to be thought viruses had no role in cancer, now we know they can. Stomach uclers were thought to be caused by stress, now we know it is an infection.

Come on scientists, leave the old paradigms behind and open your mind. Remember, discovery only comes when someone goes looking for something new and different.