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XMRV follow-up studies currently ongoing in UK


Fine, thank you
The ME Association just provided a summary (not of much interest outside the UK, probably) of the recent All Parties Parliamentary Group meeting and it included reference to several researchers carrying out XMRV/CFS studies in the UK.

Here's the whole XMRV section from the summary:


Charles Shepherd presented a brief summary on current research activity relating to XMRV.

Notes from this presentation:

Everyone is by now familiar with the XMRV research findings from America.

This is a brief update on what is happening regarding follow up studies.

Clearly, there is an urgent need to see if other research groups, in other countries, using other laboratories, can replicate the American findings.

Patient selection is very important. Studies involved stored blood samples are going to have difficulty in finding samples from people who meet both Fukuda and Canadian diagnostic criteria - as were used in the American study. But this should be less of a problem when using new clinical cases.

If the results are consistently replicated, we can then move on to looking at the pathogenicity of the virus (ie is it a disease causing virus) and even antiviral treatment.

XMRV was discussed in some detail at the Medical Research Council Expert Group Workshop on November 19/20 where there were four UK researchers present who are actively involved in XMRV research:

Dr Jonathan Stoye - National Institute for Medical Research
Dr Kate Bishop - NIMR
Dr Jonathan Kerr - St George's Hospital
Dr Suzanne Hagan - Glasgow Caledonian University
There are several other UK virologists involved with XMRV research as well - including Prof Greg Towers at University College. London, whom CS recently met for an afternoon discussion.

So replication studies and other XMRV research is taking place, or is about to take place, here in the UK.

MERUK plus IRISH ME TRUST has just funded an XMRV replication study in Sweden.

The MEA Ramsay Research Fund has money available for UK studies - but money does not appear to be an immediate problem in the UK.

It looks as though there may even be some early results from replication studies before the end of the year.

On the subject of blood donation, the MEA has been in correspondence with the Chief Medical Officer, Sir Liam Donaldson - who has repeated the guidance that people with ME/CFS should not donate blood until they have fully recovered. Various expert groups are considering the implication of XMRV being present in the healthy population in relation to blood donation - in view of the US prevalence figure of around 4%.

Version 4 of the MEA position statement on XMRV, which includes the exchange of correspondence on blood donation with the CMO, can be found on the MEA website.


Senior Member
Sheffield UK
Dr Kate Bishop - NIMR

For anyone interested in the science stuff, here are the links to DR. K Bishop group research into XMRV. Note there is no memtion in the write up about about XMRV in CFS, only prostate cancer. This could be because (anyone correct me if I am wrong) the study began 1 October 2009 and WPI Science paper came out 8 October 2009? Also note that the initial one year funding is 61k. Peter White's four year PACE (CBT versus GET versus APT) trial is costing 2.7 MILLION! We could have told him for 2 pounds and and seventy pence that, as they call it - adpative pacing therapy - is far better than CBT and especially GET! and spent the remaining money on proper biological research.