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PLoS One. 2010 Aug 10;5(8):e12040. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0012040.

Lack of detection of XMRV in seminal plasma from HIV-1 infected men in The Netherlands.

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Laboratory of Experimental Virology, Department of Medical Microbiology, Academic Medical Center, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.



Xenotropic murine leukaemia virus-related virus (XMRV) is a recently discovered human gammaretrovirus with yet unknown prevalence and transmission route(s). Its presence in prostate stromal fibroblasts and prostatic secretions suggests that XMRV might be sexually transmitted. We chose to study a compartment closely connected to the prostate, a location where XMRV was detected in independent studies. Seminal plasma samples from HIV-1 infected men were examined as they have an increased probability of acquiring sexually transmitted pathogens.


We studied the prevalence of XMRV in 93 seminal plasma samples of 54 HIV-1 infected men living in The Netherlands with a nested PCR amplification specifically targeting the XMRV gag gene. As a control for the presence and integrity of retrovirus particles, HIV-1 was amplified from the same samples with a PCR amplification targeting the env gene of the virus, or HIV-1 was quantified with a real-time PCR amplifying part of the pol gene.


Although HIV-1 was amplified from 25% of the seminal plasma samples, no XMRV was detected, suggesting that either the prevalence of XMRV is very low in The Netherlands, or that XMRV is not naturally present in the seminal plasma.

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