Whittemore Peterson Institute Statement regarding Centers for Disease Control XMRV Study.
Contrary to the WPI study published in Science in October, 2009, as well as studies done by others, including the NIH and FDA, Mr. William Switzer of the Centers for Disease Control reported that his research team was unable to detect XMRV in CFS patient samples. This negative finding is in contrast to the WPI study in which we detected XMRV in 67% of CFS patient samples.
To correctly replicate scientific studies it is imperative that researchers use the same methods and patient criteria to ensure accurate results. The methodology used by the CDC was not the same as that used in the WPI study nor was the patient selection criteria.
In September 2009, WPI sent the CDC twenty confirmed positive samples and the appropriate methodology to help them develop a clinically validated test. However, this team chose not to do this.
Until researchers use clinically validated tests to detect XMRV in patient samples, as WPI and their collaborators have successfully done, an accurate association of XMRV to any diseased population cannot be made. For this reason, WPI researchers and many others are currently validating more sensitive clinical assays to assist federal agencies in their search for the true prevalence of XMRV in the human population.
WPI will continue its core mission to deliver answers to patients with neuro-immune diseases by supporting the development of accurate diagnostics and providing effective therapeutics and clinical care.