Xenotropic murine leukemia virus-related virus (XMRV), a human retrovirus, similar to HIV, was first identified in cancerous prostate tissue by laboratories led by Joseph DeRisi at the University of California and Dr. Robert Silverman and Eric Klein at the Cleveland Clinic in 2006.
In 2009, researchers led by Dr. Judy Mikovits at the Whittemore Peterson Institute (WPI) in concert with the National Cancer Institute and the Cleveland Clinic found the presence of XMRV in the blood of patients diagnosed with chronic ME/CFS. They initially identified the retrovirus in 68 of 101 patients (67%) but further investigation found it to be present in over 95 percent of the blood sampled. In comparison, XMRV was found in 8 of 218 (3.7%) healthy controls.
In 2010, US government scientists, Dr. Harvey Alter, Chief of the Infectious Diseases Division and Associate Director of Research in the Department of Transfusion Medicine at NIH and Shyh-Ching Lo of the Food and Drug Administration in Bethesda, Maryland found that blood samples from 32 of 37 (87%) people with ME/CFS contained fragments of polytropic murine leukaemia virus-related virus, confirming the link between the family of infectious murine leukaemia viruses and ME/CFS. Alarmingly, 7% of healthy controls also carried this retroviral material.
For more information on XMRV visit the Whittemore Peterson Institute for Neuro-Immune Disease.
Dec. 3, 2010 – American Red Cross statement on XMRV and chronic fatigue syndrome.
Nov. 18, 2010 - Compositions and Methods Relating to XMRV-Related Diseases and Conditions. Patent that mentions an association between XMRV and several forms of cancer, including prostate and breast cancer.
Sept. 23, 2010 – 1st International Workshop on XMRV: Abstracts in Reviews in Antiviral Therapy & Infectious Diseases 2010_8. Abstracts
Sept. 17, 2010 – Distribution of xenotropic murine leukemia virus-related virus (XMRV) infection in chronic fatigue syndrome and prostate cancer Pubmed.gov
Aug. 30, 2010 – Viruses Found in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Patients – National Institute of Health NIH Research Matters
Aug. 23, 2010 - New Hope in Fatigue Fight Wall Street Journal
Aug. 23, 2010 – Detection of MLV-related virus gene sequences in blood of patients with chronic fatigue syndrome and healthy blood donors PNAS FDA Press Briefing
July 30, 2010 - Detection of an infectious retrovirus, XMRV, in blood cells of patients with chronic fatigue syndrome Virulence
July 14, 2010 - Delay in Release of Study on Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Prompts an Outcry New York Times
July 8, 2010 - A Third Pathogenic and Lymphotropic Human Retrovirus AIDS Review
July 2, 2010 – WPI Statement on the CDC XMRV Study WPI Statement
July 2, 2010 – With Papers On Hold, Government Scientists Fuel Debate on Virus for Chronic Fatigue Science Magazine
May 18, 2010 – Whittemore Peterson Institute and Cerus Confirm Inactivation of XMRV by the INTERCEPT Blood System WPI Press Release
April 28, 2010 – Chronic fatigue link prompts blood ban The Sydney Morning Herald
Nov. 11, 2009 – A Big Splash From an Upstart Medical Center New York Times
Oct. 9, 2009 - Detection of an Infectious Retrovirus, XMRV, in Blood Cells of Patients with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Science
Oct. 8, 2009 – Whittemore Peterson Institute Scientists Discover Significant Link Between XMRV and ME/CFS WPI Press Release