XMRV Buzz – The Buzz From Spain, Dr. Mikovits Branches Out

Posted by Cort Johnson

The Buzz From Spain – Cristina Montane relayed a report from Dr. Julia Blanco on the meeting. Dr. Blanco first noted the usual on XMRV: that the problematic methodologies being used impair detection, contamination could be possible for some results, the polytropic MLV findings and the need to assess anti-retroviral effectiveness.

((editorial) With regards to contamination effecting some findings ….with roughly the same percentage of positives in people with CFS and healthy controls showing up in Dr. Cheney’s patients and the London study and the reduced levels of positives in theVIP Dx results – it seems hard to believe that this statement applies to the WPI/VIP Dx findings. On the other hand it’s hard to understand how a small Research lab in Reno Nevada would be able to stump much bigger and presumably more sophisticated labs and there have been a bunch – from BSRI to the Koch Institute to the CDC’s HIV Labs…. XMRV remains a conundrum. The NCI’s request that researchers give details that usually don’t make it into their methods section suggests they believe the problem is more than not following the WPI’s techniques….We await Dr. Singh’s results in particular given the care she had given it… using a PCR technique that seems almost immune to contamination…with the same blood storage and sampling techniques used for both healthy controls…and its overlapping checks…and, of course her experience with these pathogens.)

Finding XMRV! – After a rather strange sounding statement which seemed to indicate that they were now stating their results: “Considering the evaluation of our data set in the context of the knowledge we have of other retrovirus, we can point out” they then noted that ” XMRV sequences can be found in patients with CFS but also in healthy donors or HIV+ patients. The copy numbers appear to be very low, and their pathogenic potential is unknown” which suggests, since no one to my knowledge has found XMRV in people with HIV, that they have looked at three groups; CFS, HIV positive and healthy controls and found XMRV in each of them – a big step forward. Simply finding XMRV is quite an accomplishment given all the zero/zero studies.

What we don’t know, of course, is what the prevalence was – an important issue! If its high in people with ME/CFS and low in health controls then we’ll another strong result. In any case they are finding XMRV and one wonders if the reason they are finding it has anything to do with Dr. Mikovits earlier trip to Spain reportedly coach a lab there on how to find the virus.

Very Rare – they also report that when they found XMRV they found it in low numbers, which, in a way is encouraging as well, since that is what we would expect.

Immune Findings – Dr. Blanco reported the Spanish researchers also found alterations in B, NK and T cells. Since NK cell dysfunction is basically expected in ME/CFS, the focus here might be on those B and T cells. Any unusual T-cell finding would be a significant development given the key, key role they play in the immune response. A B cell finding would be very interesting as well given that a small Norway study has found that Rituximab – a B-cell depleting monoclonal antibody – has been quite effective in some people with CFS. A paper on that with an interview with the study director, Dr. Olaf, will appear shortly on Phoenix Rising.

Dr. Judy Mikovits Speaks – on XMRV, ME/CFS, MS, Lyme Disease, Cancer…….(is that all???). – The WPI has kind of been playing it safe it seems…but no longer… Dr. Mikovits is going to broaden the discussion on XMRV just a little bit in Santa Rosa, Ca on Jan 17th when she talks on it’s relationship to MS, Lyme disease and presumably other types of cancer than prostate cancer….Early on we heard about XMRV’s possible relationship to autism and atypical MS and if this the report is correct Dr. Mikovits is going to open that discussion again. One wonders if a new paper is in the works (except we hear that Journals will not accept XMRV papers from the WPI until their findings have been completely validated).

The study of note with regard to ‘other diseases’ is, of course, the Singh autopsy study….which should tell us just where XMRV is found in the general population and should shed some light on its pathogenicity. If XMRV shows up in the brains of people with encephalopathy or in the breast tissues of people who died of breast cancer…..then it’s hard to imagine the wheels won’t really come off on XMRV research

…This interesting meeting will take place from 2-5 pm

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