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No Evidence of XMRV or Related Retroviruses in a London HIV-1-Positive Patient Cohort

LJS

Luke
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This was published today in PLoS One today
http://www.plosone.org/article/info:doi/10.1371/journal.pone.0018096
The full text of this paper is available for download for free.

No Evidence of XMRV or Related Retroviruses in a London HIV-1-Positive Patient Cohort

Eleanor R. Gray1*, Jeremy A. Garson1, Judith Breuer1, Simon Edwards2, Paul Kellam1,3, Deenan Pillay1, Greg J. Towers1

1 Department of Infection and Immunity, University College London, London, United Kingdom, 2 Mortimer Market Centre, Camden Primary Care Trust, London, United Kingdom, 3 Pathogen Genetics, Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, Cambridge, United Kingdom

Abstract

Background
Several studies have implicated a recently discovered gammaretrovirus, XMRV (Xenotropic murine leukaemia virus-related virus), in chronic fatigue syndrome and prostate cancer, though whether as causative agent or opportunistic infection is unclear. It has also been suggested that the virus can be found circulating amongst the general population. The discovery has been controversial, with conflicting results from attempts to reproduce the original studies.

Methodology/Principal Findings
We extracted peripheral blood DNA from a cohort of 540 HIV-1-positive patients (approximately 20% of whom have never been on anti-retroviral treatment) and determined the presence of XMRV and related viruses using TaqMan PCR. While we were able to amplify as few as 5 copies of positive control DNA, we did not find any positive samples in the patient cohort.

Conclusions/Significance
In view of these negative findings in this highly susceptible group, we conclude that it is unlikely that XMRV or related viruses are circulating at a significant level, if at all, in HIV-1-positive patients in London or in the general population.