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Retrovirology. 2010 Dec 20;7:112. doi: 10.1186/1742-4690-7-112.

Contamination of clinical specimens with MLV-encoding nucleic acids: implications for XMRV and other candidate human retroviruses.

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  • 1Department of Pathology, University of Washington, Seattle WA, USA. smithra@u.washington.edu

Abstract

Efforts to assess the prevalence of xenotropic murine leukemia virus-related virus (XMRV) in patients with prostate cancer and chronic fatigue syndrome have relied heavily on PCR-based testing of clinical samples and have yielded widely divergent findings. This week in Retrovirology, reports from four independent research groups illustrate the extreme care needed to exclude DNA or RNA contamination in PCR analyses of XMRV. In addition, phylogenetic evidence suggesting that previously-published XMRV sequences originated from a commonly-used prostate carcinoma cell line (22Rv1) is presented. These findings raise important questions regarding the provenance of XMRV and its potential connection to human disease.

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