Full Title: Detection of MLV-related virus gene sequences in blood of patients with chronic fatigue syndrome and healthy blood donors
Authors: Shyh-Ching Lo a ,, Natalia Pripuzova a , Bingjie Li a , Anthony L. Komaroff b , Guo-Chiuan Hung a , Richard Wang c , and Harvey J. Alter c
Publication: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Publication Date: 23rd August 2010
aTissue Microbiology Laboratory, Division of Cellular and Gene Therapies and Division of Human Tissues, Office of Cellular, Tissue and Gene Therapy, Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, Food and Drug Administration, Bethesda, MD 20892;
bDepartment of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115; and
cDepartment of Transfusion Medicine, The Warren Grant Magnuson Clinical Center, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892
Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is a serious systemic illness of unknown cause. A recent study identified DNA from a xenotropic murine leukemia virus-related virus (XMRV) in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) from 68 of 101 patients (67%) by nested PCR, as compared with 8 of 218 (3.7%) healthy controls. However, four subsequent reports failed to detect any murine leukemia virus (MLV)-related virus gene sequences in blood of CFS patients. We examined 41 PBMC-derived DNA samples from 37 patients meeting accepted diagnostic criteria for CFS and found MLV-like virus gag gene sequences in 32 of 37 (86.5%) compared with only 3 of 44 (6.8%) healthy volunteer blood donors. No evidence of mouse DNA contamination was detected in the PCR assay system or the clinical samples. Seven of 8 gag-positive patients tested again positive in a sample obtained nearly 15 y later. In contrast to the reported findings of near-genetic identity of all XMRVs, we identified a genetically diverse group of MLV-related viruses. The gag and env sequences from CFS patients were more closely related to those of polytropic mouse endogenous retroviruses than to those of XMRVs and were even less closely related to those of ecotropic MLVs. Further studies are needed to determine whether the same strong association with MLV-related viruses is found in other groups of patients with CFS, whether these viruses play a causative role in the development of CFS, and whether they represent a threat to the blood supply.
View the Detection of MLV-related virus gene sequences in blood of patients with chronic fatigue syndrome and healthy blood donors article.
A commentary Mouse retroviruses and chronic fatigue syndrome: Does X (or P) mark the spot? is published in the same journal as well as the editorial Patients, patience, and the publication process.
CFIDS Association of America have also published the resources Another Turn of the Retrovirus Kaleidoscope, Comparison of Published XMRV and Murine Leukemia-Related Virus (MLV) Studies in Patients with CFS and A Pictorial Essay to Describe XMRV, MLVs and Gammaretroviruses.