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Curr Opin Virol. 2012 Aug;2(4):499-507. doi: 10.1016/j.coviro.2012.06.009. Epub 2012 Jul 19.

Recombinant origin, contamination, and de-discovery of XMRV.

Author information

1
Viral Mutation Section, NCI, HIV DRP, Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research, Frederick, MD, United States.

Abstract

The discovery and de-discovery of the xenotropic murine leukemia virus-related virus (XMRV) has been a tumultuous roller-coaster ride for scientists and patients. The initial associations of XMRV with chronic fatigue syndrome and prostate cancer, while providing much hope and optimism, have now been discredited and/or retracted following overwhelming evidence that (1) numerous patient cohorts from around the world are XMRV-negative, (2) the initial reports of XMRV-positive patients were due to contamination with mouse DNA, XMRV plasmid DNA, or virus from the 22Rv1 cell line and (3) XMRV is a laboratory-derived virus generated in the mid 1990s through recombination during passage of a prostate tumor xenograft in immuno-compromised mice. While these developments are disappointing to scientists and patients, they provide a valuable road map of potential pitfalls to the would-be microbe hunters.

PMID:
22818188
PMCID:
PMC3426297
DOI:
10.1016/j.coviro.2012.06.009
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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