What’s Next for XMRV?

Posted by Cort Johnson

MLV's, XMRV and the Subsets in CFS

The XMRV International Workshop is over, the Alter paper was finally published….we seem to be in a kind of lull….what is next for XMRV and ME/CFS? Of course anything could happen at any time (and has) but we do have some clues.

First, though, let’s take a look at where we are. The XMRV Studies page on Phoenix Rising lists about 34 past, present and possible studies (and is, no doubt, missing a few.). We have the results, one way or another, for 14, believe it or not. Of those eight were reported negative and six positive.

That leaves 20 potential ongoing studies directed specifically on ME/CFS – alot of work. It’s unclear when most of them will be published (or rather reported) but we can take a guess.

What is clear, though, is that the studies are getting better and more comprehensive and we can look forward to more culturing and better attempts to replicate the WPI’s methods ie; more definitive results and some of them pretty soon. XMRV’s time is approaching.


  • Dr. Felsenstein at Mass General was reported to be done with an XMRV/CFS study and is trying to find a publisher.
  • Cooperative Diagnostics study in collaboration with the CDC looking at a more severely ill group of patients appears to be done. Will it show up in a Journal?


By December?

  • The DHHS Blood Working group will reportedly have something definitive to announce about XMRV assays (and prevalence in ME/CFS?) in December. They are looking at XMRV positive patients from the WPI.
  • Dr. Singhs Autopsy study is reportedly done and hopefully will be published in a few months
  • Dr. Singhs multi-faceted CFS/XMRV study will reportedly be done (and published?) by Christmas.
  • Dr. Mikovits reported a study describing an immune signature in XMRV positive patients will probably be published by December.


  • The CFIDS Association Glaxo-Smith Kline BioBank study with that very WPI-like cohort has been very quiet but appears to have been underway a couple of months. Is it next up?
  • Dr. Montoya/Dr. Lipkin (and the WPI?) have been engaged in a study of pathogens including XMRV for at least a couple of months.
  • Dr. Klimas – what is going on with the Dr. Klimas study? She has two sets of patients sh reportedly wants to test and my understanding was that she had found a lab to test them. Has she? Is she testing her very well-characterized ME/CFS and GWS patients? The results would be fascinating.


  • Dr. Alter’s attempt to find antibodies (reportedly somewhat successful), test many more people and grow (culture) the ‘MLV’s’ he found.
  • The Edmonton Canada Study with Dr. Stein
  • Dr. Enlander’s blinded multi-center study in the US
  • Dr. Hanson’s full study – due in 2012! – the first study was positive but we may have to wait quite a while for the results from the second.
  • Dr. Joliceur’s Second XMRV Canada Study
  • Ian Lipkin NIH study – the big study – probably a long way off
  • Italian XMRV study


  • Kate Bishop in the UK will be studying some patients groups in the UK with her new testing procedures (including culturing); will ME/CFS patients be included?
  • Institute Ferran has been doing alot of work; is an XMRV prevalence study underway?
  • Dr. McClure has reported she will be doing culturing tests on WPI positive patients
  • Panorama Research in the US. (Will they give them to her? him:))
  • New Zealand Study is maybe underway (…what is going with Australia?????????)

Any missing studies? Please let me know.

Share this!