This continues XMRV-news
of May 5. There is some news and there are some new entries:
For the moment I only have some quotations and a remark:
Quotation fom the Science piece linked above, that has the
most relevant and varied information from the above group of four links (and
more than I quote):
Mikovits says she remains confident that the 14 CFS patients
she selected for Singh's group have XMRV in their bodies. "These people are
infected," says Mikovits. "This study says nothing. We have complete
confidence in every bit of the results in the Science paper. We don't think
any of it is wrong. There is no evidence of contamination in our lab, and we
have controlled for that all along."
Mikovits notes that Singh's group did not use the identical protocols
for every analysis, and stresses that discrepancies between their labs may
also reflect her own finding that XMRV levels vary in patients day to day.
Singh counters that although some protocol differences exist, they worked
closely with Mikovits' team to replicate the original work. Singh says the
fact that they didn't find XMRV in any of these patients is significant.
"She [Mikovits] pointed us toward patients that she had repeatedly tested
positive," says Singh. "We should have found at least one that was
positive. Not all of them would have gone negative on the day when a
phlebotomist met with them."
Mikovits cautions that her Science report did not assert that
XMRV causes CFS but only claimed to have detected XMRV in CFS patients.
But the large community of CFS patients, who often find themselves
confronting a medical establishment that questions the very existence of
their disease, pounced on this finding, and some even started taking
antiretroviral medicine to treat their supposed XMRV infections.
Singh's lab earlier reported that antiretroviral drugs do work against
XMRV in test tube studies. But she now cautions CFS patients that taking
them is unwarranted and even dangerous.
Confused and confusing? Here is Dr. Lipkin's mail quoted
from professor Racaniello's Virology Blog:
We have a plethora of explanations for how CFS/XMRV/MLV studies could go
awry. However, we donít have evidence that they have. Absent an
appropriately powered study representing blinded analyses by Mikovitz and
Lo/Alter of samples from well characterized subjects using their reagents,
protocols and people, all we have is more confusion.
I remain agnostic. We wonít have answers until the end of 2011.
The NIH will post something on our study today.
Quite so, though it is a pity Dr. Lipkin's study takes
another half year, at least.
I have read through all the remarks made by commenters under
Professor Racaniello's blog of May 4, which is an incoherent lot by many
anonymous, anonymized, partially anonymous and a few non-anonymous
contributors of mixed background and motives, to the sum of which Dr.
all we have is more confusion
fully applies, also because it is often unclear who reacts
to whom - one gets a long list of points with "Anonymous" as the main
contributor(s), also rarely indicating whom or what comment they react to -
and in which capacity they write (as patient, virologist, scientist, passer
by) and with what capacities (degrees, subjects studied).
However... one of the main contributors next to "Anonymous"
is one Flex, again present on the latest Blog by professor Racaniello, as
the first contributor:
I am sorry, but this anonymized person without any
information on its background, is someone I recall from last year on Phoenix
Rising when it tried for a long time to write a letter intended for the
media and could not succeed in writing anything either stylistically,
grammatically or rationally decent.
This is just a fanatic believer without any scientific
qualifications whatsoever (that I know of or can or could see), who does
not speak for me, is not qualified to discuss science. I
don't mind that people have beliefs I don't share; I do understand the
findings about XMRV by Dr. Singh and her co-workers are disappointing many
patients; and I do agree patients with ME/CFS are often in great
difficulties, but this Flex persona just does not have the knowledge
or intelligence to speak in the name of "science and the scientific method"
or lecture real scientists on it.
As for me: Both Dr. Mikovits and Dr. Singh seem to me
to be honest and qualified and on the side of patients with ME, though being
human each may be mistaken in some respects, while their subject is
truly difficult. And as I put
it two days ago:
As far as I am concerned, the jury is still out, and the
Lipkin study, that still is ongoing, has the best design to try to determine
the role and presence of XMRV, but this study by Singh et. al. at least
makes it credible that some patients who very probably do have ME/CFS do
not have an infection with XMRV.
This doesn't mean that there are not some patients who very
probably do have ME/CFS who do have an infection with XMRV, but then
again there is the problem of various sub-groups and of diagnosing people,
all apart from the real and genuine difficulty of establishing the presence
or absence of XMRV.
Corrections, if any are necessary, have to be made later.