Monday, February 15, 2010

XMRV news: A failure to replicate

A new study in Retrovirology did not detect XMRV in patients with ME/CFS.
Our study failed to replicate the results of the US study despite using what we believe to be a more sensitive test. We found no association between XMRV and chronic fatigue syndrome. However, chronic fatigue syndrome may encompass a spectrum of different conditions providing a possible explanation for this discrepancy ... Replication is an important part of the scientific method and, as the initial findings have not yet been replicated, I think it will be important to develop standardised samples and assays for XMRV that can be rapidly tested by different laboratories around the world.
It doesn't seem as though this research group has an agenda—one of the researchers is Jonathan Kerr, who led a study that revealed genomic differences between people with ME/CFS and without. So, the news is disappointing, but we can hope the scientific community will continue to study XMRV and untangle the conflicting results.


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