Another thought. It's clear that the WPI are working with the idea of cofactors as triggers for XMRV to turn into CFS. What if the order in which people get these viruses or other life events is important?
eg. I got CFS at age 37 after a bout of EBV. But my mother has fibromyalgia, father just died of prostate cancer, mums father died of prostate cancer and her youngest brother has just been diagnosed with it. Based on the current WPI hypothesis, if I had to guess, I'd say I was probably carrying XMRV all my life causing no harm until I got EBV.
But what about a scenario where someone has EBV as a child, is thus immune, then later contracts XMRV? Maybe they would be OK and could be a carrier with one less thing that can convet XMRV to CFS?
I will repost the idea on the undestanding that it is just speculation.
The thought was if XMRV was spread through blood transfusion then mothers giving birth would be prime recipients of the virus and they then go on to breastfeed their children (perhaps when they are most infectious?). This could explain both sporadic occurrences and patterns within families. Because CFS might occur a long time after XMRV infection no one would ever pick it up as an epedemic. But the drawback I see to this idea is that we don't hear of heamopheliacs coming down with CFS. Also it doesn't really explain outbreaks either.
I only came to this thought after I found out how many of my friend have received a transfusion during chilbirth (quite a lot). On the weekend I found out from my own mother that she had one when I was born.
I guess I'm now thinking that the take home message from all this might be that working out the epidemiology of a virus like XMRV based on CFS symptoms would be almost impossible for mere mortals like us if the following things are true:
* that XMRV has cofectors as triggers to bring on illness
* there is delayed onset of many years after infection
* conversion from latent carrier to CFS symptoms is not inevitable (as with AIDS in most cases)
I realise you said if, so this is only about the idea. Simply we have no idea yet if those people with XMRV and no symptoms will develop disease. As for heamopheliacs , we don't hear about who does get CFS. Unless you count the CDC, and who does. They cannot tell us who gets the disease, because they either have not looked, or everyone can. There will be other options, but I'm saying that we don't know if heamopheliacs have been developing CFS or prostate cancer. Why would they look, when they don't take the disease seriously?
Is it my imagination, or is Prof. Racaniello losing patience with sloppy science on XMRV?
The idea of checking in some way that some subjects were infected with XMRV before checking semen seems pretty obvious. The treatment of samples prior to PCR simply doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me. Can anyone tell me what they might have been thinking?
The problem here is that there is a great deal of bad work out there to emulate. Researchers with limited budgets may simply choose to do what they can afford, if it is has been used in published papers. Bad science acts like Gresham's law for money.
Thanks, Otis. I searched PR and found that knackered had been in email correspondence with madmax and was satisfied that he was Max Pfost. I'm still concerned tho' that the paper has not been removed from the website to allow the WPI to amend it. I would guess this results from the WPI team being overworked and understaffed.
ETA: Otis, I note your updated avatar and conclude you have very fine taste in music.
To determine if XMRV could be transmitted in semen, I would obtain semen samples from patients known to be infected with the virus. Then I would co-culture total semen and seminal plasma with LNCaP cells to amplify any virus present, followed by PCR to detect either virions or proviral DNA. I realize it may be difficult to conduct the study in this way, but I don’t see the value of doing it any other way.
Yes! I wish they would quit wasting resources on meaningless studies.
I think I'm becoming a Vincent Racaniello groupie. His TWIV podcasts are giving me a quick course in virology 101. A lot of it doesn't make it through the brain fog, but enough does that I'm understanding the studies I read better. And I find it soothing to listen to.