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Detection of MLV-related virus gene sequences in blood of patients with chronic fatigue syndrome and healthy blood donors.

Authors
  • Lo, Shyh-Ching1
  • Pripuzova, Natalia
  • Li, Bingjie
  • Komaroff, Anthony L
  • Hung, Guo-Chiuan
  • Wang, Richard
  • Alter, Harvey J
  • 1 Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA. [email protected]
Type
Published Article
Journal
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Publisher
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Publication Date
Sep 07, 2010
Volume
107
Issue
36
Pages
15874–15879
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1006901107
PMID: 20798047
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

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.

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