Results of the Blood XMRV Scientific Research Working Group

13 October 2011

The Blood XMRV Scientific Research Working Group was formed to design and carry out a study to determine whether xenotropic murine leukemia virus-related virus (XMRV) posed a threat to blood safety. Phase III results were published on Sept. 22, 2011 in Science. In an upcoming webinar study leaders Graham Simmons and Mike Busch will present their findings and discuss their consequences for blood safety and the understanding of this agent’s role in chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS).

Please register to attend the webinar on 14 October 2011 at 4:00 PM EDT.

Update: Materials from the webinar, including the slides, a video of the presentation, and answers to 10 common criticisms of the study have been posted at Research1st.

  • Rustling

    I can wait for that podcast

  • Gyma

    talk about  megavirus please, Doctor.

  • David

    New Koch’s postulates should arise from the whole XMRV story. Lipkin must rewrite the minimum requirements for infectious agent – disease association and the must be enforced by the journals.

  • Kim McCleary

    Thank you for helping get the word out to your readers, Dr. Racaniello. 13% of the webinar participants were researchers and/or physicians. We’ve posted links to the recording, slides and other materials on our Research1st website at: http://www.research1st.com/2011/10/14/xmrv-updates/

  • Martin

    It is good that they confirmed not all laboratories screened all the controls and never their PBMCs.  The study can be easily put to one side as a mess.  You really need pedigreed negatives when attempting to protect the blood supply.  

    The assays using VP62 from all the other groups are easily dismissed with confirmation that VP62/XMRV is not the viruses detected in Lombardi and Lo.  Papers using VP62/XMRV also need retracting, as they were never validated to find the ME/CFS HGRVs or in fact any type of xenotropic MLV-related virus that is infecting humans. The other issues range from them not adding trizol, so the assays were not those of the WPI, patients on drugs that would produce false negatives, having 22Rv1 in the CDC lab with some collection tubes that could have been avoided, a tight deadline preventing validated culture times that could also have been avoided, Lo’s group employing the incorrect assay from their paper.

  • Martin

    You do realise that Koch postulates are not meant to be fulfilled in a single paper?

  • Martin

    How many listeners?  50?  70?

    There is more in the paper about what they did not do in the study, including how the controls could not have been deemed negative.  Including the failure to have any validated assays in the study and the use of VP62 that does not exist in nature.   Assays to that clone are unvalidated and those papers of no importance to the science of HGRVs.

  • Anonymous

    I thought it was a very interesting broadcast. It certainly provided enough of an explanation for the various criticisms that had been about the place following the results.

    Will these results have an effect (or can they be seen to have an effect) on the ongoing review of Lombardi et al. by Science?

  • LKD

    Science reviewed the paper when Silveman found his samples alone were contaminated with the VP62 plasmid, which has never been in the WPI or NCI labs.

    John Coffin and Science knew Frank Ruscetti used AZA as they chose to change the labels in the paper for publication.  

  • VirologyProf

    Martin,

    I am guessing you are the same person on the CFS forum, so I will only reply once here.  Your issues with the study are flawed.  They state in the webinar that 

    1.  All labs were able to choose which assays they wanted to use.  Each lab picked the assays that they thought were the best.  If you dont think that Lo picked the right primer pairs then take it up with them.  But they state that all assays were tested and shown to be broad and would pick up any MLV like virus.

    2.  The negatives were screened by several labs and all came up negative before they were sent out to everyone else.  The only labs that showed positive results in the agreed upon negative samples were WPI and Ruscetti.  The only labs to show negatives in the spiked positives were WPI and Ruscetti.  Thus showing the high rate of error in their assays.

    3.  Stop with the issue with Trizol.  I doubt you know what Trizol is used for.  It is not used to stabilize anything in the blood tubes.  As stated in the webinar, Lo/Alter study detected positives after 15 years of storage in the same blood tubes, their was not a lack of detection due to degraded sample.  Trizol is used to extract RNA from cells.  That is all.  It is not a stabilizing agent.

    4.  WPI had plenty of time to do the culturing assays.  Their cells were contaminated and THEY chose to not do the assay since they didnt have any more cell lines to use.  It is not the BWGs fault that their reagents were contaminated.  They did do serology and NAT assays, both showing incorrect calls on positive and negative controls.

    5.  The AZA use by Ruscetti was not known to the reviewers at Science and was not relabelled during review.  That was done before it was sent for review and not disclosed to the reviewers.  This is a clear lack of disclosure by the authors.

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