The retrovirus Xenotropic Murine Leukemia Virus Related (XMRV
) is a new human pathogen, and possibly the most important scientific discovery since HIV. Has been linked to prostate cancer and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS).
If confirmed by independent laboratories and the prevalence XMRV association with prostate cancer and CFS according to studies published in the prestigious journal Science, would reach 4% of world population infected, but asymptomatic at this time.
This Retroviruses, in the same family as HIV (AIDS) and HTLV (leukemia), is the third pathogenic retrovirus discovered in humans. Is known to exist for years in mice, but only recently has been discovered in humans, in tissues of patients with prostate cancer. The prostate cancer patients share with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome have altered the antiviral enzyme called RNase-L.
This is the clue that led to Whittermore Peterson Institute (WPI) to connect the two conditions, culminating his studies last October with the publication in Science of a surprising finding, was achieved by isolating the retrovirus XMRV in the nucleus of blood cells 67% of CFS patients and 3.7% of the healthy population. (1
) After the publication, were improved detection methods and antibodies were found in plasma of 99% of CFS patients, while maintaining the same percentage in the healthy population.
These results have moved scientists around the world to run additional studies that answer the important questions that arise now: modes of transmission of the retrovirus that is present in the blood and body fluids, its pathogenicity and the potential threat to blood banks. Pending to validate the data published by the WPI in Science with other studies, replicated in independent laboratories, the current estimate of carriers gives a figure of 3.7% of the population, which is currently asymptomatic.
Another study just published in Germany, shows a similar percentage XMRV prevalence in the study population: 3.2%. although this percentage rises close to 10% in patients that have suffered transplants and are taking heavy medications. Given that XMRV shows a very little number in titer, this 10% seems more plausible as a population prevalence. In the same direction points an unpublished study by the FDA and NIH that shows up to 7% prevalence of the retrovirus in the general population.
HISTORY OF A MEDICAL SCANDAL:
The association of XMRV with SFC, is a major milestone in the research of the past 20 years in relation to this disease. The SFC was released in 1984, in Incline Village near Lake Tahoe in Nevada in the U.S. Several hundred people developed some kind of flu that ended in neurological and immunological problems, and suffering several viral infections (CMV, EBV, HHV-6) at a time.
Doctors Paul Cheney and Daniel Peterson asked for help from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, which concluded that these patients were not "ordinary Americans." Thus, the entire responsibility of caring and research, these two young men fell to rural doctors. In the early 90s, everyone was talking about the origin of CFS should be a retrovirus and AIDS specialist, Dr. Nancy Klimas, stated that CFS was a form of acquired immunodeficiency.
In early 1990, a virologist from the Wistar Institute, Dr. Elaine DeFreitas, reported that he had found the DNA of a retrovirus in CFS patients. The CDC is not validated their discovery and publicly criticized claims that their blood samples were contaminated by a "rat virus itself, and thus ending the career of this promising young researcher
Now, 20 years later, when scientific studies linking the SFC again with a retrovirus associated with prostate cancer earlier, both the psychiatric lobby and governments, driven by budgetary interests, strive to return to play down the discovery.
There have been three studies in Europe who took to replicate the study of WPI without following his own mythology, claiming not to have detected the XMRV in European patients. The first negative study is published by the team psychiatrist Simon Wessely - head of the SFC in the UK in January 2010 in a magazine on-line payment.
The second study, also in the UK and with the same result, was followed by a third in Holland last February, with the help of researchers from the UMC St. Radboud, who announced the retrovirus had not found XMRV in Dutchmen patients' blood. However, U.S. investigators said they found it XMRV virus in blood samples from the same patients in 3 of the 7 samples exchanged (3
). This was a scandal
in the press in Holland.
Dr. Suzanne Vernon, virologist with extensive experience, has stated that it can be considered the work published by the British as a valid attempt to replicate the discovery of XMRV since has not followed the methodology that led to the three laboratories Americans to discover the relationship between XMRV and the SFC, and denounced the irregular procedures followed in the British case.
Anticipating what was to happen, the associations of British CFS patients (approximately 250,000 cases diagnosed, and as many undiagnosed according to their estimates), with funds raised by donations from the patients themselves, had already commissioned a laboratory in Sweden retrovirology replication of the discovery, because "they had no assurance that the study be done in Britain came to light a single positive result." Individuals and families are counting on going studies will not show a single positive case of infection in Europe, which would serve their governments as justification for cost-cutting research on these diseases.
In Spain, we have better luck. Retrovirology Laboratory of the Hospital de Badalona Germans Trias has been put to work, and has invited itself Mikovits Judy, who published in Science last October XMRV association with CFS, so that they trained in the difficult and laborious technique has been developed. Unfortunately, this laboratory has not received any subsidy, and are themselves sick, and the United Kingdom, who are paying for the research. SFC also Unit of Hospital del Valle d'Hebron in Barcelona is yet to be approved to start a test study.
In this sense, last May in Madrid held a seminar organized by Red Labs laboratories that are working to develop a diagnostic test XMRV will be ready for the summer of 2010. In the U.S. test is now available.
The controversy over negative studies published flared even more when just days ago was published a fourth study in Europe (10
), where CFS patients are not involved and where it is found in the respiratory tract XMRV of samples asymptomatic people with a prevalence of 3.2% (similar to 3.7% detected in the American study published in Science), and increasing that percentage nearly 10% in immunocompromised patients who had undergone some type of transplant.
These results give reason to believe that the detection rate increased by two possible reasons: The XMRV could be reactivated if there is an immunodeficiency and / or transplant patients may have contracted the XMRV for a transplant or transfusion. In any case not yet confirmed if the retrovirus is the cause or effect of a weak immune system, and therefore remains a suspect trigger diseases like prostate cancer, and SFC among others.
THE XMRV COULD BE A THREAT TO THE HEALTH OF THE RECIPIENTS OF BLOOD TO A TRANSPLANT CANDIDATES. (HHS Blood Safety Committee USA)
The XMRV transmitted through body fluids and various are the countries that have banned blood donations from patients with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, regardless of health status of patients, in order to prevent infections in donated blood and transplantation. First it was Canada (11
) and has been followed by Australia (12
) and New Zealand (13
), in the U.S. have banned the carrying XMRV donation and is being studied to generalize to patients diagnosed with CFS, but in Europe there has not risen any prohibition or follow any protocol to protect the blood banks.
Any person regardless of sex, age or sexual orientation can get this debilitating disease, which already affects 17 million people worldwide, and while it is confirmed whether the XMRV is cause or effect of CFS, which is known as XMRV is that poses a risk of infection through transfusion or organ transplant (14
The FDA and NIH have confirmed and are about to publish it independently validated study published last October by the group on the XMRV Lombardi. They confirm that the transmission of blood-XMRV is more than probable, and the clear association with CFS. They also confirm that the XMRV and other leukemia-related virus in rodents are present in blood banks with a prevalence between 3% and 7% (16
Unfortunately this information was made public by a leak of a journalist Dutchman will not see the light in the short term. The reason that these results of the FDA and NIH are in conflict with a third independent study by a state agency of the U.S. government, the CDC.
Both studies were approved and ready for publication, but the government has decided to push back the publication of the positive study from FDA & NIH
, saying they needed to do more research in the coming weeks to verify "the accuracy" of these results, on the other hand without making a single change they published the negative study by CDC
It seems that history repeats the same pattern we saw by the US government 20 years ago with De Freitas, when they wanted to bury the relationship of a retrovirus with CFS, and now again the government is withdrawing its own study which confirms this relation discovered last October by the Lombardi group.
The XMRV also be involved in prostate cancer and this will hardly be able to buried, and hopefully the truth will see the light, despite of censuring the FDA and the NIH study as is happening now. But I would welcome the media to take up this history to put pressure on governments so that this study will see the light as soon as possible in their original form as it was when it earned approval for publication.
In these videos retrieved from the past thanks to the web www.rescindinc.org, we can observe everything that is happening now, it's actually the same story of the past. It is a huge public scandal.
http://vimeo.com/13048135 Click on Video1:
http://vimeo.com/9714320 Click on Video2:
Now, many years later, a documentary for release in 2011 is telling exactly the same story, and explaining how this whole story has been covered up for all this years, and seems to be covered again after the positive study from FDA and NIH has also been pulled out from release.
http://vimeo.com/12619161 Click on Video 3:
CFS patients required in written last year to the Ministry of Health in Spain a blood test XMRVcovered by Social Security, to support the clinical diagnosis of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. However, Spanish Ministry of Health responded that it considered it unnecessary, and still would not take any measures to protect our blood banks, arguing that only accept samples from people who are in good health.
The problem is that at least 4% of the asymptomatic population would carry the point XMRV as both the American and German study, published recently. Moreover, some CFS patients have periods of remission can be apparently healthy to the authorities and therefure be suitable to give blood. In conclusion, not only are not taking any preventive measures in Spain to what is a serious potential threat to public health but also they pronounce themselves officially with no respect (17
This issue is not only exceptionally important for all patients with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Spanish, who spend years journeying through different doctors until a diagnosis, a test of XMRV could become a biomarker and save patients and their families endless suffering. But the whole society should react by the negligence of the Ministry of Health, which is not taking preventive measures - as it happened in the 80s with HIV and hepatitis C - to the threat of an infection by a new human retrovirus on transfusion or transplantation
WHY NOT INVEST IN RESEARCH OF CFS?
In view of Professor Kenny Meirlaen, in a recent interview,
of the dutch TV, the reason is obvious, the costs would be enormous for governments to bear when the disease and is cheaper to relegate patients and to prescribe them antidepressants under the psychiatric field. It happened with other diseases in the past such as HIV or leprosy, and now government hides his head in the sand, because they fear what may be discovered (18
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome affects 17 million people worldwide, and 240,000 people in Spain, and potentially it would double that figure with the undiagnosed patients.
Research spending in the U.S. CDC for CFS is a thousand times lower than the $ 3,000 million per year for HIV research, but funny enough the prevalence of CFS is twice that of HIV or Multiple Sclerosis. CFS has not yet a cuere and any of us can get this disease, and you should care because tomorrow it could be you.
Signed. Carlos Gonzalez
The Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), a disease classified by WHO with the number G 93.3.en ICD-10 is an organic disease, and multisystem disease. You can progressively affect the immune system, neurological, cardiovascular and endocrine systems and cause characterized by severe fatigue, substantial loss of concentration and memory, spatial disorientation, restless sleep, intolerance to light, sound and temperature changes, intolerance to emotional stress and physical activity, muscle aches and joint pain, multiple chemical sensitivities and a permanent flu-like feeling, among other events.
We have also observed severe alterations in the function of NK cells in blood pressure and orthostatic balance, a significant reduction of blood flow to the brain and a reduced ability of oxygen consumption of cells. At the same time, the external appearance of the patient does not reflect the disease: it looks normal.
Reference: VC Lombardi, Ruscetti FW, Gupta JD, MA Pfost, KS Hagen, Peterson DL, SK Ruscetti, Bagni RK, Petrow-Sadowski C, Gold B, Dean M, Silverman RH, and Mikovits JA. Detection of Infectious Retrovirus, XMRV, in Blood Cells of Patients with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Online October 8, 2009. Science.