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Racaniello on 7/09 XMRV study by Silverman, Das Gupta


Apple, anyone?
Northeastern US

Dr. Racaniello's new entry is on a study from last year: "Fibrils of Prostatic Acid Phosphatase Fragments Boost Infections with XMRV (Xenotropic Murine Leukemia Virus-Related Virus), a Human Retrovirus Associated with Prostate Cancer". (http://jvi.asm.org/cgi/content/abstract/83/14/6995)

Racaniello writes,

Xenotropic murine leukemia virus-related virus (XMRV) has been detected in prostate cancer tissues and is therefore a candidate tumor virus. XMRV, which has also been implicated in chronic fatigue syndrome, was first isolated from prostate tissue. Therefore it made perfect sense to determine whether SEVI, which originates from the prostate gland, enhances XMRV infection.

The observation that SEVI enhances XMRV infection is consistent with the possibility that the virus is sexually transmitted. Men with a history of prostatitis or sexually transmitted infections appear to have a higher risk of acquiring prostate cancer. However, the effect of a prostate-derived peptide on XMRV infection might be coincidental: the amyloid fibrils could stimulate infection by other viruses, as noted by the virologists who discovered SEVI...


Senior Member
I wonder about this too. I mean, if you think about it, prostatic secretions could have an immune modifying effect regardless of if the man has an infection. Somehow the semen has to evade the woman's immune system at least long enough for conception to occur. I don't claim to be an expert on this, but it wouldn't surprise me if viruses took advantage of such a mechanism to increase transmission chances (if such a mechanism exists). Anyone know more about this? Is SEVI something that exists in the prostate regardless of if its infected with a virus?