By Tabitha M. Powledge, The Scientist:
Eric Klein and colleagues at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio reported in July that both human semen and one of its major components, acid phosphatase, increase XMRV infectivity for prostate cells 100-fold. They also found the virus in prostatic secretions of men with prostate cancer. "That really strongly suggests that XMRV is sexually transmitted," he said.
Klein was part of a group in Cleveland and the University of California, San Francisco, that in 2006 first identified XMRV in prostate tumors. He was not involved in today's paper.
Klein said the July findings suggested a biological mechanism for sexually transmitted XMRV infection. If a man with viral particles in his lower genital tract has intercourse and deposits semen in his partner, acid phosphatase in the semen could increase the virus's ability to infect prostate tissue of the partner's subsequent partners. Read more>>