Friday, November 27, 2009

Cleveland Clinic conference puts spotlight on XMRV link with chronic fatigue syndrome

By Angela Townsend

"There are so many more questions than answers," Silverman said. "What is the prevalence in the general population? Is it the cause of human disease? Are CFS patients infected because they're more susceptible to the virus, or is the virus causing the disease? Is this virus a threat to public health or not?"

Silverman, one of the researchers credited with the initial discovery of XMRV, said he would love to gather the group together again, perhaps in a year.

"Every day I'm getting e-mails from scientists wanting the virus for their studies," he said.

These people are mostly virologists looking at other viruses, or researchers looking at CFS and prostate cancer, which also has been linked to XMRV.

Silverman's lab has been trying to fill requests as quickly as possible, sending the virus DNA -- not the live virus -- by mail in a test tube. (The researcher can then insert the DNA into human cells in the lab, which makes the actual virus.)

In the meantime, researchers are working to develop a diagnostic test for XMRV

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