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Nov 22, 2011      `

me+ME: The XMRV-connection

After yesterday's brief excursion into the lusher fields of 20th C philosophy, I return today to ME. I'll spread it over several files, and start with two recently published findings about the XMRV-connection, the first an abstract of work by the American Association of Blood Banks, with a title that sums it up, that links to where I found it first (Phoenix Rising):

XMRV does not pose a risk to blood recipient safety

Roger Y. Dodd, John Hackett Jr, Jeffrey M. Linnen, Kerri Dorsey, Yanyun Wu, Shimian Zou, Xiaoxing Qiu, Priscilla Swanson, Gerald Schochetman, Kui Gao, James M. Carrick, David E. Krysztof, Susan L. Stramer. Article first published online: 21 NOV 2011

© 2011 American Association of Blood Banks

BACKGROUND: When xenotropic murine leukemia virus–related virus (XMRV) was first reported in association with chronic fatigue syndrome, it was suggested that it might offer a risk to blood safety. Thus, the prevalence of the virus among blood donors and, if present, its transmissibility by transfusion need to be defined.

STUDY DESIGN AND METHODS: Two populations of routine blood donor samples (1435 and 13,399) were obtained for prevalence evaluations; samples from a linked donor-recipient repository were also evaluated. Samples were tested for the presence of antibodies to XMRV-related recombinant antigens and/or for XMRV RNA, using validated, high-throughput systems.

RESULTS: The presence of antibodies to XMRV could not be confirmed among a total of 17,249 blood donors or recipients (0%; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0%-0.017%); 1763 tested samples were nonreactive for XMRV RNA (0%; 95% CI, 0%-0.17%). Evidence of infection was absent from 109 recipients and 830 evaluable blood samples tested after transfusion of a total of 3741 blood components.

CONCLUSIONS: XMRV and related murine leukemia virus (MLV) markers are not present among a large population of blood donors and evidence of transfusion transmission could not be detected. Thus, these viruses do not currently pose a threat to blood recipient safety and further actions relating to XMRV and MLV are not justified.

I have no idea how The Church Of Gerwyn And Carter is going to react to this, but if earlier reactions were anything to go by it will be more about "the scientific method" these intellectual lightweights claim to be missing, and the role of VP-162, Gag sequences, and a lot more astro-turfing absolutely no one outside that community of True Believers has been able to make sense of.

But let me make one personal remark here: I still find it eminently plausible to distrust whatever stems from any research group in which Wessely, Van der Meer, White, Bleijenberg and such are involved, indeed about anything whatsoever, but especially about ME, about which they have been lying for years; seem incapable of writing about like real scientists do; and anyway have vast personal, financial and career-interests in to see their particular branch of fraudulent quackery and psychobabble prevail over real science.

None of that applies to the above authors, and indeed I found it quite nice - speaking as a citizen and as one interested in real science - that the BWG and the American Association of Blood Banks do seem to have done quite a lot of real science over the last two years to get to the truth about XMRV, as indeed they should have, given the publication in Science of October 2009, which strongly suggested XMRV might be present in the blood gathered by many bloodbanks, and would be quite dangerous, especially if the connection with ME/CFS upheld.

As to what I find nice: That a large group of competent people does do the necessary work to safeguard the blood all US citizens - speaking of the American Association of Blood Banks - may come to need if they get an accident or need an operation. In the country where I live - Holland - such things don't seem to happen anymore, and those in charge of it seem to be paid by pharmaceutical companies, and very well also.

And what I find quite odd about The Church Of Gerwyn And Carter, and indeed why I call these fools a Church, is that they are willing to oppose and smear all manner of scientists, not just those there is good evidence about they are frauds or incompetents (or indeed: psychiatrists or psychotherapists, which seems to me a congregation of frauds and misfits anyway, for the most part and seen in a historical perspective, and by reference to their own long list of failed and fraudulent pretensions, and who, whatever their minimal competence in real science, certainly all have a strong motive to lie about patients they may take cash from, "in the name of The Sciences of Psychiatry and Psychology" (*)).

In any case: I do not have any cogent reason to assume the writers of the above quoted abstract lied, are incompetent or mean ill or to profit from patients with ME/CFS, and I do have cogent reasons to assume they mean well and are competent scientists.

And here is another abstract, with a link in the title to where I found it first (ERV's):

Multiple Sources of Contamination in Samples from Patients Reported to Have XMRV Infection

M.F. Kearney, J. Spindler, A. Wiegand, W. Shao, E.M. Anderson, F. Maldarelli, J.W. Mellors, S. Hughes, S.F.J. Le Grice, and J.M. Coffin

Xenotropic murine leukemia virus (MLV)-related retrovirus (XMRV) was reported to be associated with prostate cancer by Urisman, et al. in 2006 and chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) by Lombardi, et al. in 2009. To investigate this association, we independently evaluated plasma samples from 4 patients with CFS reported by Lombardi, et al. to have XMRV infection and from 5 healthy controls reported to be XMRV uninfected. We also analyzed viral sequences obtained from supernatants of cell cultures reported to contain XMRV after coculture with clinical samples from 9 patients. A qPCR assay capable of distinguishing XMRV from endogenous MLVs showed that the viral sequences detected in the CFS patient plasma matched endogenous MLVs and not XMRV. Single-genome sequences (N=89) from CFS patient plasma were indistinguishable from endogenous MLVs found in the mouse genome that are distinct from XMRV. By contrast, XMRV sequences were detected by qPCR in 2 of the 5 plasma samples from healthy controls (sequencing of the qPCR product confirmed XMRV not MLV). Single-genome sequences (N=234) from the 9 culture supernatants reportedly positive for XMRV were indistinguishable from XMRV sequences obtained from 22Rv1 and XMRV-contaminated 293T cell-lines. These results indicate that MLV DNA detected in plasma samples from CFS patients was from contaminating mouse genomic DNA and that XMRV detected in plasma samples from healthy controls and in cultures of patient samples was due to cross-contamination with XMRV (virus or nucleic acid).


The same as I said about the previous paper holds for this one.

Anyway... so much for XMRV at present. More later in the day about other ME/CFS-related matters.

(*) Meanwhile, I do think it would be very interesting if the financial interests of medical people were properly investigated and reported, and not merely left to their bona fides in not declaring any interests: It's hardly cynical to insist that most medical doctors - all except a few saints and utterly unwordly individuals - are in it for the money, and generally more successfully so than almost any other group of legal professionals.

And indeed, being a somewhat cynical adult myself, I don't mind that medical people are human too, and have human motives, and do not coincide with the roles they play to their patients, namely that of uninterested benevolent medical authority of great integrity and nearly total omniscience. Then again, I also find it nauseating that - as happened to me - a GP prescribes very expensive sleeping medicines I also haven't asked for, clearly because of the percentage she gets, while medical specialists refuse me any and all help for two decades, mostly in the name or on the strength of the fraudulent bullshit that has been ladled out for over two decades now from Radboud University, by Van der Meer and Bleijenberg, whom I personally hold co-responsible for over two decades of pain and human rights discrimination in my case, and on whom I have large claims of damage. (Let's keep it normal, gentlemen, and in the best Dutch tradition I'm sure you have verbally defended many times: Everybody being declared equivalent - "equal in value", the Dutch says - in Holland, I merely want 20 times the yearly salary of Jeroen van der Veer, whom I have been assured for decades is my personal equivalent. If this is considered undue, being clearly more gifted than you: Twenty years worth of your full salary, and your removal as psychological resp. medical doctors. From you or your university.)

P.S. Corrections, if any are necessary, have to be made later.

As to ME/CFS (that I prefer to call ME):

1.  Anthony Komaroff Ten discoveries about the biology of CFS (pdf)
3.  Hillary Johnson The Why
4.  Consensus of M.D.s Canadian Consensus Government Report on ME (pdf)
5.  Eleanor Stein Clinical Guidelines for Psychiatrists (pdf)
6.  William Clifford The Ethics of Belief
7.  Paul Lutus

Is Psychology a Science?

8.  Malcolm Hooper Magical Medicine (pdf)
 Maarten Maartensz
ME in Amsterdam - surviving in Amsterdam with ME (Dutch)
 Maarten Maartensz Myalgic Encephalomyelitis

Short descriptions of the above:                

1. Ten reasons why ME/CFS is a real disease by a professor of medicine of Harvard.
2. Long essay by a professor emeritus of medical chemistry about maltreatment of ME.
3. Explanation of what's happening around ME by an investigative journalist.
4. Report to Canadian Government on ME, by many medical experts.
5. Advice to psychiatrist by a psychiatrist who understands ME is an organic disease
6. English mathematical genius on one's responsibilities in the matter of one's beliefs:

7. A space- and computer-scientist takes a look at psychology.
8. Malcolm Hooper puts things together status 2010.
9. I tell my story of surviving (so far) in Amsterdam/ with ME.
10. The directory on my site about ME.

See also: ME -Documentation and ME - Resources
The last has many files, all on my site to keep them accessible.

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