Thursday, October 21, 2010

XMRV Lecture Notes from the NJCFS Conference

This is one of the best summaries on Dr. Judy Mikovits' lecture I have found to date.  For the original article, click here.  This blogger has posted summaries from other lectures from the same conference.  Sue Jackson also attended the conference and has posted notes in her blog.  The conference proceedings will be available on DVD in about six weeks.

"In the first part of the lecture Mikovits:
-drove quickly through the history of various published papers that establish the association of a family of gamma retroviruses with ME/CFS.
-went over familiar ground with the problems of the negative studies, and stated her arguments against contamination
-cited "greater sequence diversity than originally observed", stating that "Variation is our friend"
-twice cited Sandy Ruschetti's importance in this research, including a key role in isolating the virus,
-spoke of how hormones and inflammatory cytokines turns on the viruses
-speculated about reservoirs, where the virus hides, where it doesn't
-gave examples of teasing out XMRV with different testing devices.
-stated that "sample processing is everything",
-stated that the association of XMRV-related viruses is stronger in ME/CFS than in prostate cancer
-reiterated that the WPI is the only one who has isolated virus from ME/CFS specimens.
-talked about subgroup P
-indicated that X -variant and P-variant are two independent viruses
-found x and found p in individually cloned viruses
-stated that XMRV and its variants is not a mouse virus
-stated that this is not a recombination, but a new human retrovirus
In the second Part of the lecture she presented data on the XMRV work being done in UK. Along the way she mentioned:
-50 UK samples went to two independent labs, each tested multiple ways
-David Bell (recently retired) is working as a clinical consultant, presumably with the WPI
-ME/CFS is not a woman's disease
-Ruschetti cultured samples from Alter cohort and found x-variant in all of them
-found complete concordance between viral isolation and detection of antibody reactivity in UK plasma
-Lo's primers picked out negatives as positives
-Conclusion: found evidence of HMRV in >70% ME/CFS meeting CCC criteria
-1st generation testing will get better.
Finally Dr. Judy talked of XMRV-related virus in family and other illness
-presented Cheney's patient XMRV information
-showed family trees with illness association
-detection of XMRV in 16 of 17 families with neuroimmune illness
- "Methods matter!"
-HMRV research is in it infancy as much more research needs to be done."
Posted on CFS Patient Advocate Blog

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