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BMJ. 2010 Feb 25;340:c1018. doi: 10.1136/bmj.c1018.

Prevalence of xenotropic murine leukaemia virus-related virus in patients with chronic fatigue syndrome in the Netherlands: retrospective analysis of samples from an established cohort.

Author information

1
Department of Medical Microbiology, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, 6500 HB Nijmegen, Netherlands. f.vankuppeveld@ncmls.ru.nl

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

The presence of the retrovirus xenotropic murine leukaemia virus-related virus (XMRV) has been reported in peripheral blood mononuclear cells of patients with chronic fatigue syndrome. Considering the potentially great medical and social relevance of such a discovery, we investigated whether this finding could be confirmed in an independent European cohort of patients with chronic fatigue syndrome.

DESIGN:

Analysis of a well defined cohort of patients and matched neighbourhood controls by polymerase chain reaction.

SETTING:

Certified (ISO 15189) laboratory of clinical virology in a university hospital in the Netherlands. Population Between December 1991 and April 1992, peripheral blood mononuclear cells were isolated from 76 patients and 69 matched neighbourhood controls. In this study we tested cells from 32 patients and 43 controls from whom original cryopreserved phials were still available.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

Detection of XMRV in peripheral blood mononuclear cells by real time polymerase chain reaction assay targeting the XMRV integrase gene and/or a nested polymerase chain reaction assay targeting the XMRV gag gene.

RESULTS:

We detected no XMRV sequences in any of the patients or controls in either of the assays, in which relevant positive and negative isolation controls and polymerase chain reaction controls were included. Spiking experiments showed that we were able to detect at least 10 copies of XMRV sequences per 10(5) peripheral blood mononuclear cells by real time as well as by nested polymerase chain reaction, demonstrating high sensitivity of both assays.

CONCLUSIONS:

This study failed to show the presence of XMRV in peripheral blood mononuclear cells of patients with chronic fatigue syndrome from a Dutch cohort. These data cast doubt on the claim that XMRV is associated with chronic fatigue syndrome in the majority of patients.

PMID:
20185493
PMCID:
PMC2829122
DOI:
10.1136/bmj.c1018
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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