28 December 2009

Retrovirology, part one

Recent research conducted in October 2009, at the Whittemore Peterson Institute indicated that a retrovirus, XMRV (Xenotropic Murine leukaemia virus-Related Virus) was present in initially 67% of CFS patient samples, and subsequent research, also at the WPI, has found the virus in 95% of CFS patient samples. It is important to note that the XMRV virus is also present in 4% of the healthy control samples. I will address this further in the following post, however this does not mean that this 4% of healthy people will become sick with CFS. They may have strong immunity to this virus, or there may be other, as of yet unidentified, reasons behind their remaining healthy.
Another cautionary point is that as of yet we are waiting to understand the exact nature of the relationship between XMRV and CFS, whether XMRV causes CFS. Further research will lead to better understanding of this.
It is beleived that XMRV is potentially transmitted through body fluids, however further research and understanding is needed before guidelines are implemented in how to manage this in the interest of public safety. This is where understanding and promotion of XMRV awareness is essential.

RESOURCES:
http://www.wpinstitute.org
http://www.wpinstitute.org/xmrv/xmrv_qa.html

Please don't hesitate to add your thoughts to this.

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