Reviews & INFECTIOUS DISEASES 8/2010Who would have thought? A conference only of like-minded mind.
journal of abstracts and conference reports from international workshops on infectious diseases & antiviral therapy
1st international workshop on Xmrv
Pathogenesis, Clinical and Public Health Implications
7-8 September 2010, Betheseda, USA
Anyway, just wanted to post the second "XMRV in Autism" claim by Mikovits, mainly for documentation purposes. Sorry, have no time to take it apart – apart from the fact that the full study hasn't been published (not even put on some website – please) I found these odd things on a quick look:
- The sample size is again unbelievably small. In October 2009 we had 6/15, now in August 2010 we have 14/17.
- No mention of the October 2009 results
- Ruscetti's role is not clear in this study
- Lombardi is not part of the study
- Silverman was not involved, the sequencing was done at the "Nevada Genomics Center", still this study claims to have found "XMRV" (VP62?), no mention of "HGRV".
Contrast this with:
Mikovits to this day contends that the Lo-Alter paper confirms Lombardi et al. and insists that from the beginning, she viewed XMRV as one of many gammaretroviruses, which includes the MLVs, involved with CFS. In the Lombardi study, some patients tested negative in PCR tests for XMRV and yet produced MLV-related proteins, she claims, but they decided to count them as negatives. She has another serious regret about the paper [Lombardi et al. 2009]. “I'd not put XMRV in the title,” Mikovits says. “We never considered that it would be a single sequence.”So what did they find here? Who forced Dr. Mikovits to put XMRV in the title of this study? And where is the sequence diversity here?
- There are some inconsistencies in the numbers. The abstract says 16 families had more than one child participating, but only 29 children participated.
Abstract: P_19I would say selling a XMRV test is a massive conflict of interest, but who am I to judge the fine doctors.
Chronic Fatigue syndrome/ neuro immune diseases
Detection of infectious XMRV in the peripheral blood of children
M.A. Pfost1, K.S. Hagen1, F.W. Ruscetti2, J.A. Mikovits1
1Whittemore Peterson Institute, ARF, Reno, USA;
2NCI- Frederick, Laboratory of Experimental Immunology, Frederick, USA
XMRV is a new human retroviral infection of as yet unknown pathogenic potential.
Recent reports have found XMRV infection in 3% of healthy adult populations and high percentages in populations of immune compromised individuals and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS). The prevalence of XMRV infection has not been explored in families with CFS or in children.
An understanding of the XMRV infection rate in children may be particularly helpful, given that 1 in 100 children in the US are diagnosed with neuroimmune disorders, including Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and that CFS and childhood neuroimmune disorders share common clinical features including immune dysregulation, increased expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines and chemokines, and chronic active microbial infections.
Thus, we hypothesized that XMRV infection may be detected not only in families with CFS but also in children with other neuroimmune disorders.
66 subjects participated as family members of a parent or child diagnosed with a neuroimmune disease.
Age, sex, date of onset, geographic location and length of illness were recorded.
The study group consisted of 29 children, 2-18 years of age and 37 parents.
19 of the adults (51%) have a neuroimmune illness including CFS, fibromyalgia and Lyme disease and 17 of the children (59%) are diagnosed with ASD.
One pair of 3 yr old twins have Niemann-Pick type C, a neurodegenerative disease.
10 of the children (34%) were healthy siblings. Geographically, the subjects came from 11 states, 12% from the Southeast, 74% from the West, with 10% from NV, 8% from the Midwest and 6% from the Northeast.
Sixteen families had more than one child participating including healthy siblings.
Peripheral blood was drawn by a licensed phlebotomist under an approved IRB protocol, and shipped to the WPI for XMRV detection according to Lombardi et al. (Science, Oct 2009) including serology for antibodies to XMRV ENV, using PCR and RT-PCR on cultured PBMC nucleic acids as well as plasma isolation of XMRV to the LNCaP cell line.
PCR products were sequenced at the Nevada Genomics Center using the ABI3730 DNA Analyzer.
XMRV was detected in 55% of 66 cases of familial groups from 11 states. Sequencing of PCR products of env and gag confirmed XMRV.
The age range of the infected children was 2-18. 17 of the children (including the identical twins) were positive for XMRV (58%) and 20 of the 37 parents (54%) were positive for XMRV.
14 of the 17 autistic children were positive for XMRV (82%). Of the 17 families, only one had all members of the family test negative for XMRV.
In contrast, 16 of the families with neuroimmune disease, 9 families had at least 1 parent and child test positive for XMRV.
4 of the families had a parent test negative with a positive child, and 2 families had a parent test positive with the diseased child testing negative.
XMRV is observed in children with a wide spectrum of neuroimmune disorders and their family members.
The significance of these findings is not clear.
No conflict of interest