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XMRV "ubiquitous"

Levi

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Superinfection

Tina, Yep,

As far as I am concerned, the jury is still out on XMRV/CFS/ME causation. But the penetration of XMRV into the general population is a separate issue, and I see it as a vast public health concern. At least until we know much more about what diseases, if any, it is associated with.

It may play a role in creating superinfection conditions of one or more common and truly ubiquitous virii such as EBV or other herpes viruses. Something catalytic and having a cascading effect that messes up the immune system. In a way, the XMRV issue is drawing off precious research efforts into alternative explanations.

In an ideal world, the CDC would have a strike team of crack researchers ready and waiting for the next epidemic cluster to hit, and then really make an effort to figure out what is going on instead of letting the psychs run the show and build little therapy empires. . .

But another theory I have is that XMRV is not the only stealthy retrovirus causing havoc. If XMRV is 3-7%, then I would expect some other retroviruses, yet to be discovered, have infected many other people causing cancers and neurological conditions.

Tina
 

Megan

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I like Tina's interpretation. We need to be open to many possibilities.

One thing that concerns me though about all this is something I heard in a presentation by Dr. Eric Klein that ws posted in a thread started by Landsbergen a while back. The presenatation is an excellent summary on XMRV and its title is, 'Is Prostate Cancer and Infectious disease?'. At 7:45 minutes in he says:

"We think XMRV probably infects everybody, but it persists in those who are deficient in their antiviral defences"

http://webcasts.prous.com/AUA2010/html/1-en/template.aspx?section=7&p=7,11872#

http://www.forums.aboutmecfs.org/sh...Prostate-Cancer-an-Infectious-Disease-(-XMRV)

This is the guy who is giving the keynote address at the September XMRV conference. He might be more important than Cort has suggested in his recent article about this conference. Dr Klein was part of the original Urisman study that discovered XMRV and he definitely believes XMRV is an infectios pathogen. At the beginning of his talk he says he is in part funded by Abbott Diagnostics (they sound to me like they are a bit ahead of the curve on this).

If he is right that XMRV is already ubiquitous and it just shows up more easily in some people, then it may not be the CFS cause we are looking for and might be more likely to be a passenger virus. The WPI have seemed strangely quiet to me on this matter since the initial publication of their paper (eg. they have dodged further questions on the antibody positive rate in the general population).

Dr Klein doesn't say in his presentation why they think this, but it will be interesting to see if they reveal evidence for it at some point or whether it is just a working hypothesis on their part. The way he says it, it sounds like they have some reason for thinking it.
 
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Yes, if that is the case it would be ubiquitous, but the current data tells us it is not.

"It is almost unheard of to find an association of this magnitude in any
study of an infectious agent and a well-defined disease, much less an
[ill-defined] illness like chronic fatigue syndrome," he said in an e-mail.
It is extremely difficult to prove causation with a ubiquitous virus like
XMRV, and it "is even more difficult in the case of CFS, which represents a
clinically and epidemiologically complex illness,"
Reeves used this at the start to dismiss the entire finding, I guess it may be a good thing that it has been hard to find.
 
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Nothing drives me crazier in pathobiology than the tireless, uncritical drumbeat of "complex" this "complex" that. This noble new tradition has been established in all poorly-understood diseases. Doubtless, some of them really are complex, but how do we know which ones? The only way to really prove that something is complex is to understand it well.

I guess it's true that CFS is epidemiologically complex - you've got the small focal epidemics and the much more numerous sporadic cases. That's strange, for sure, but it's not "the end of the world" when it comes to trying to explain CFS with one infectious agent. As for ME/CFS being "clinically complex" - it is that, somewhat, only not very unusually so. How exactly is it more symptomatically/syndromally complex than "the great imitator," syphilis, or lupus? It's not; it is a good deal less complex than they are. It's also not all that terrible in terms of definitional boundaries, assuming one means ME/CFS and not Reeves Disease, or idiopathic fatigue with almost no other symptoms. Lupus and MS and RA aren't all that much more perfectly defined. And try telling every case of Crohn's from ulcerative colitis - you'll be left with a "chunk" of ambiguous cases rather than a tiny residuum - chunk meaning something around 15%.

By the way, by "not complex" I mean simple at just one point (at least). AIDS is certainly complex in a sense, but it's simple at heart: HIV causes it.
 

Rafael

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I was thinking of the Klein presentation all the way through this thread as well.

My interpretation of the Klein's comment was that XMRV may enter peoples systems but "not take hold" in a way that it begins it's replication cycle (and therefore eventually show up in biological tests)

Even if only - say 3% to 7% - of population's blood cells are proven to show evidence of XMRV ... it COULD still be ubiquitous (as in water and air and doorknobs, etc.)

That could explain why practitioners haven't noticed an strong correlation of ME within couples (as was case with HIV).

I am not saying there is published data to confirm this theory but neither is there data to prove it untrue.
 
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I am not saying there is published data to confirm this theory but neither is there data to prove it untrue.
It's too early to tell.

I think Luc Montagnier has a similar view of HIV. He believes that a good immune system can clear it
 

Sean

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If he is right that XMRV is already ubiquitous and it just shows up more easily in some people, then it may not be the CFS cause we are looking for and might be more likely to be a passenger virus.
Maybe XMRV is a necessary but not sufficient condition for ME/CFS. It may require certain genetic profiles as well to become active and pathogenic.
 
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Dr Klein seems very sharp.

I don't know if others are still as receptive to the HPC1 (RNase) QQ connection as he is. He mentions of course that Singh didn't find a connection. Petros/Primos(?) apparently did find a connection of sorts (but one might want to double-check the statistical significance on that, etc). There may be other data... personally I'm not in that mood to like rummage the whole lit.

I'm definitely still wide open to non-causality by XMRV. It could totally happen. That one text interview with Mikovits sure made it sound like she was finding a good bit less than 98% prevalence in her latest CCC sample. (But other things she has said don't really sound like that... go figure.)
 

muffin

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My intuition tells me it is at 10% or more. And while others may not trust my intuition, rarely has it failed me.

But another theory I have is that XMRV is not the only stealthy retrovirus causing havoc. If XMRV is 3-7%, then I would expect some other retroviruses, yet to be discovered, have infected many other people causing cancers and neurological conditions.
Tina
I think you nailed that one on the head, Tina. I would bet that there are more than just a few Retroviruses out there and maybe/probably other viruses not yet discovered. They already do know that a number of diseases/cancers are caused by viruses, but we don't have much of the picture on this yet. We can thank the CDC and NIH again for killing off Retrovirus research back in the early 1990's. They didn't just damage CFIDS but all other diseases and cancers as well. How many millions of people worldwide have had to deal with these diseases/cancers or have lost their lives to them all because of the politics and cover-up by the CDC? All of those responsible for killing off that critical research need to be put in prison. Not religious, but may God have mercy on their souls.

My father used to say that it would be a virus that killed off mankind and I have to agree with him on that one.
 

Gemini

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Mikovits has always said it probably needs something else, like the stress of a virus.
Yesterdays Wall St. Journal article describing science presented at the International AIDS Conference this week describes how HIV needs other viruses like herpes: “Crucial Window to Beat Back HIV” (Wall St. Journal, 7/23/10).

Dr. Fauci, NIAID, describes how HIV infects in the first few hours/days after exposure. Article excerpts:

“Despite its notorious reputation, the virus that causes AIDS doesn’t infect the human body easily…”

“Of the several HIV variants that land on the mucosa, one, called a founder virus, is especially suitable for finding CD4 cells, but can be stopped in its tracks by the mucosa.”

“CD4 cells are common in the tissue behind the membrane, but most appear to be in a resting state…to establish a sustained infection, HIV needs to find “activated” CD4 cells. Resting CD4 cells can outnumber activated ones by 70 to one…”

“Getting past the membrane may take as long as a few hours. Once it clears that hurdle, the founder virus must quickly find an activated CD4 cell or it begins to decay in as little as five minutes. Most infections are won or lost in that five minute window.”

“One factor making HIV infection more likely is the presence of an infection such as herpes that substantially expands the number of activated CD4 cells behind the mucosa.”

“The rapid replication occurs near the site of infection over the first three to five days. Then the virus migrates to lymph nodes and the gut…Within seven to ten days, pockets of HIV called viral reservoirs form in cells and can hibernate in the body for years, undetected by the immune system, but capable of resuming active replication.”


Let’s hope 30 years of HIV retrovirus research, $19 billion/year in government funding, and the 20,000 researchers who attended this conference will also benefit XMRV research.

Gemini
 
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Dr Klein is much too self-possessed for me to guess whether there is some 'delicious secret' behind his remark on 'everyone' getting at least transitorily infected. Many a scientist has a touch of the geek star, and might helplessly flash with idiotic bliss, but not him.
 
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might be good time to look again at rate of infectivity and rate of disease in HTLV-1, FelV, and HPV. I know HPV is not retrovirus, but Klein referred to it as a model for prevalence vs disease in prostate cancer and XMRV.

Tina
 
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I wonder why they are interested in HPV?

If I remember correctly, in the early days of HIV they used the Hep B test to help find patients. As they are both spread in a similar way. Can anyone confirm this?
 
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Re Klein, check out the 'conclusions' slide at 15:45. "All individuals at risk regardless of Hpc1 genotype." I would strongly suspect, then, that earlier in the video, when he said (roughly) "we think everyone gets it, but QQs retain it," he meant that they think all Hpc1 genotypes can (and often do) get it, but those bearing the QQ genotype for Hpc1 are more likely to remain infected (or maybe their infections are more likely to remain relatively active, whatever). So, he probably didn't mean "we think every human individual gets infected with it [transitorily or otherwise]."

Can any animal even clear any retrovirus completely? I kind of thought not but I am not sure.
 
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By the way, when he says there are multiple strains, he almost surely means ones not published yet. The ones published to date, being 99.5% identical, are almost certainly not something you would call different strains.

I also can't help but be interested in the fact that he alludes to the negative papers, points out the "formal possibility" that XMRV is not pathogenic but says the weight of evidence is against this... then "concludes" that it is associated with both prostate cancer and CFS.
 

Sean

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So, he probably didn't mean "we think every human individual gets infected with it [transitorily or otherwise]."
Yes, I will be very surprised if he meant that all humans carry the virus. That would be unprecedented in infectious disease (as far as I know).