• 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 (FM), 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.

Optimization of XMRV and MLV-related virus detection for screening of blood

Jemal

Senior Member
Messages
1,031
I think this project gives us more evidence that the XMRV/MLV saga is far from over. I found this project through the NIH project reporter. The project has a start date of 1 august 2011, meaning it's new. The project got $277.000 from the NIH and it's being administered at the National heart, lung and blood institute.

Xenotropic murine leukemia virus-related virus (xmrv) is a newly identified gammaretrovirus linked to prostate cancer and chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). Furthermore, other murine leukemia virus (MLV)-like sequences more closely related to polytropic MLV have also been reported to be associated with CFS. Since these viruses can be both detected in, and in the case of xmrv directly cultured from, leukocytes and plasma, they are highly likely to be transmissible by blood or blood products. Thus, sensitive, specific and reliable detection of the presence of xmrv, ideally by nucleic acid testing (NAT), is urgently required to further investigate this potentially serious threat to blood safety. Testing will be required initially to fully characterize the pathogenic potential of these viruses, together with the true prevalence in donor populations and the likelihood of transfusion-transmission (TT). These results will then determine whether large scale screening of the blood supply is warranted.

Specific Aim 1: Detection of xmrv and other MLV-related viruses. Preliminary results, using validated clinical samples, have demonstrated that NAT detection of xmrv was, at best, variable. However, a 2 to 4 day delay, with samples held at 4oC prior to processing, allowed a more reliable detection of xmrv in the plasma fraction, by multiple laboratories. We hypothesize that regularly processed plasma is not the optimal medium for the detection of xmrv and other MLV-related viruses. Thus in aim 1 we will extend and further investigate these findings. We will perform detailed and extensive comparison of processing methods from multiple xmrv/MLV positive individuals. Plasma that becomes positive after a delay in processing will be treated with nucleases, proteases and detergents before and after ultracentrifugation, to determine whether viral nucleic acid is virion associated or present as free RNA/DNA.

Specific Aim 2: Mechanisms to enhance nucleic acid testing. Although the optimization of the delayed processing of plasma will greatly enhance the potential of clinical and basic research studies, it is not likely to be practical for high-throughput screening of blood donors, where screening results are ideally required less than 24 hours after phlebotomy. Thus, we will investigate a multitude of techniques in order to achieve similar results to delayed processing, starting with those most likely to be easily and cheaply achieved in the blood collection setting.

PUBLIC HEALTH RELEVANCE: Xenotropic Murine Leukemia virus-Related Virus (xmrv) has been suggested to be involved in both prostate cancer and chronic fatigue syndrome, and furthermore has been demonstrated to be present in blood cells and plasma. Thus, there is real potential for xmrv transmission through blood or blood products and hence an urgent need for sensitive and specific detection assays in order to protect the blood supply. We plan to identify the most appropriate blood component for xmrv detection and will develop processing methods in order to maximize xmrv presence and hence detection within these components.

http://projectreporter.nih.gov/project_info_description.cfm?aid=8178650&icde=0

Graham Simmons has been involved with more XMRV studies by the way, I suggest you Google him if you are interested.
 

Enid

Senior Member
Messages
3,309
Location
UK
Nice find - thanks Jemal - the story of these viruses is far from over. Hooray !
 

eric_s

Senior Member
Messages
1,925
Location
Switzerland/Spain (Valencia)
Wait, this reminds me of the Blood Working Group. Also i think i've heard the name Graham Simmons in the context of the BWG before. Couldn't this be financing for the Blood Working Group?
 

Jemal

Senior Member
Messages
1,031
Wait, this reminds me of the Blood Working Group. Also i think i've heard the name Graham Simmons in the context of the BWG before. Couldn't this be financing for the Blood Working Group?

Simmons is a member of the BWG. He has also done some other research though, with Abott.
Not sure if this is BWG related, but it crossed my mind...
 

Bob

Senior Member
Messages
16,455
Location
England (south coast)
Very interesting. Thanks Jemal.

It does seem to be related to the BWG project, doesn't it.
It might be the next stage of the BWG project, investigating how to efficiently detect XMRV in large numbers of blood samples.

What's very interesting is that they confirm that they have discovered that XMRV can be detected 'more reliably' if samples are stored at 4[SUP]o[/SUP]C for 2 to 4 days:

However, a 2 to 4 day delay, with samples held at 4oC prior to processing, allowed a more reliable detection of xmrv in the plasma fraction, by multiple laboratories.

This quote suggests that most, or even all, of the labs ("multiple laboratories") in the BWG are successfully and reliably detecting XMRV, at least in some of the samples.
 

Jemal

Senior Member
Messages
1,031
This quote suggests that most, or even all, of the labs ("multiple laboratories") in the BWG are successfully and reliably detecting XMRV, at least in some of the samples.

It's possible... I think the codes for BWG phase III have been broken. As stated in this article:
http://www.cfscentral.com/2011/08/breaking-codes.html
Which probably means the results are now known.

When I first found this project I though it was significant and I still think it is. We should be careful not to read too much into it though. It could be unrelated to the BWG or planned before results were known.
 

RustyJ

Contaminated Cell Line 'RustyJ'
Messages
1,200
Location
Mackay, Aust
It's possible... I think the codes for BWG phase III have been broken. As stated in this article:
http://www.cfscentral.com/2011/08/breaking-codes.html
Which probably means the results are now known.

When I first found this project I though it was significant and I still think it is. We should be careful not to read too much into it though. It could be unrelated to the BWG or planned before results were known.

Surely they would have only bothered to proceed with this project if the results were known? Isn't it wonderful that the money can be found for the right people.

Thus, sensitive, specific and reliable detection of the presence of xmrv, ideally by nucleic acid testing (NAT), is urgently required to further investigate this potentially serious threat to blood safety.

If the announcement follows the breaking of the codes, then the wording and the timing are significant.

Since these viruses can be both detected in, and in the case of xmrv directly cultured from, leukocytes and plasma, they are highly likely to be transmissible by blood or blood products.

Why say this? Is this confirmation of the Science study?
 

Jemal

Senior Member
Messages
1,031
Surely they would have only bothered to proceed with this project if the results were known? Isn't it wonderful that the money can be found for the right people.

Yes, it would be more logical for this project to start after results were known. However:

- I am not sure if the timing is right, the project has a startdate of 1 august 2011 and officially the results of the BWG were not known back then I think. Although this project could have been started after the results were known of course.
- It could even be entirely unrelated. We have several government agencies looking at XMRV and they are saying different things (at least the FDA, CDC and NCI). So I wouldn't be surprised if another agency decided to do some more research on their own...

Anyway, if it's BWG related this could be huge. This could mean labs in the BWG are reliably finding XMRV.

I don't want to set myself up for a disappointment, though... Simmons has also been involved with some negative studies.
 

RustyJ

Contaminated Cell Line 'RustyJ'
Messages
1,200
Location
Mackay, Aust
I don't think the codes needed to be broken. All that was required was positive tests from multiple labs. Doesn't really matter which labs, which samples. The fact that there was positive samples is the main game. And that has probably been known for a while.
 

Firestormm

Senior Member
Messages
5,055
Location
Cornwall England
Is this not about screening the blood supply? We knew this was planned didn't we: 20 January 2011: WSJ: http://blogs.wsj.com/health/2011/01/20/xmrv-testing-the-blood-supply/

Noone doubts that XMRV is a retrovirus. So they were always going to try and screen the blood supply even as a precaution to see if it can be done en-masse as it were.

If XMRV (as indeed any other pathogen) is found to be in human blood and is at some later stage found to be an active contributor to 'human disease' then they will be ready to reject (presumably) any blood as if it were HIV for example.

Will have another read of the submission but am fairly sure this is where they are coming from...

Layman speaking as opposed to dead-man walking :)
 

Firestormm

Senior Member
Messages
5,055
Location
Cornwall England
Yes I believe this was the other relevant article at the time: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704243904575630700111729446.html

Still is this latest study going about looking for 'XMRV' in the 'right' way? Depending on what you believe about this retrovirus of course. Is looking for it in blood correct? I guess only time will tell and if BWG and Lipkin prove inconclusive or outright negative - then will this be the end or merely another interlude? What will happen to this search for a mass test? What if this search can't find 'XMRV'?

Questions questions questions... always will be questions I suppose.
 

liquid sky

Senior Member
Messages
371
Sounds like they are definitely finding XMRV in multiple labs in both plasma and PBMCs. That is good news. Now they are trying to find a faster, reliable test. Whoever comes up with that test will be set up to make billions. I am sure many are trying to be the first.

The contamination of the blood supply has been the ticket to finally get this disease finally studied and validated. Treatment will flow from that point. Whether it is part of the blood working group or not doesn't matter. What matters is they still see a need for a fast test to screen the blood supply as of just 1 month ago.
 

Jemal

Senior Member
Messages
1,031
Sounds like they are definitely finding XMRV in multiple labs in both plasma and PBMCs. That is good news. Now they are trying to find a faster, reliable test. Whoever comes up with that test will be set up to make billions. I am sure many are trying to be the first.

I just hope the "multiple labs are finding XMRV" is not old news... like from months ago. The project is new, but who knows when the description was created.

Oh, and for anyone who might have missed it. This thread contains some more information about XMRV that I found mighty interesting:
http://forums.phoenixrising.me/show...-and-therapeutic-treatment-of-prostate-cancer