question about antibodies


Senior Member
Summer posted this quote:

"Mikovits believes the association may be even stronger than the present work indicates. DNA sequencing only picks up active infections, she says, so she wants to study CFS exposure to the virus more broadly. In an unpublished investigation, she and her colleagues analyzed blood cells in about 330 CFS patients and found that more than 95% expressed antibodies to XMRV, whereas about 4% of healthy controls did. "

So it seems that we have among sufferers, 67% of DNA and 95..98% of antibodies, while in healthy controls, we have 3.7% DNA and only slightly more of antibodies.

Why would healthy controls have such a small disparity between DNA and antibodies?

Sofa, UK
That's the first time I've seen any kind of statement as to the percentage of healthy controls that were positive on the antibody test in the unpublished study. Plenty of threads - and some other academics elsewhere - have been asking that question, and sceptics have raised it as if to suggest the antibody test that ups things from 67% to 95% may mean nothing if the controls also have 95% on the antibody test.

Since we've all been dying to know the figure for antibodies in the controls, then unless you can point me to a WPI person's statement on that, I'm going to guess that the 4% is a lazy rounding of the 3.75% from the published study, combined with the journalist confusing data from the two studies.

I've never seen the 330 figure for the total number of subjects in the unpublished study either. It looks suspiciously close to the 300-odd people (CFS + controls) in the published study. So much as I'd love to believe these numbers, they do sound to me like a journalistic error.