Author: Sullivan, leftbrainrightbrain.co.uk:
Lack of Infection with XMRV or Other MLV-Related Viruses in Blood, Post-Mortem Brains and Paternal Gametes of Autistic Individuals.
Lintas C, Guidi F, Manzi B, Mancini A, Curatolo P, Persico AM.
Laboratory of Molecular Psychiatry and Neurogenetics, University Campus Bio-Medico, Rome, Italy.
BACKGROUND: Autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) is characterized by impaired language, communication and social skills, as well as by repetitive and stereotypic patterns of behavior. Many autistic subjects display a dysregulation of the immune system which is compatible with an unresolved viral infection with prenatal onset, potentially due to vertical viral transmission. Recently, the xenotropic murine leukemia virus-related virus (XMRV) has been implicated in chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) and in prostate cancer by several, though not all studies.
METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We assessed whether XMRV or other murine leukemia virus (MLV)-related viruses are involved in autistic disorder. Using nested PCR targeted to gag genomic sequences, we screened DNA samples from: (i) peripheral blood of 102 ASD patients and 97 controls, (ii) post-mortem brain samples of 20 ASD patients and 17 sex- and age-matched controls, (iii) semen samples of 11 fathers of ASD children, 25 infertile individuals and 7 fertile controls. No XMRV gag DNA sequences were detected, whereas peripheral blood samples of 3/97 (3.1%) controls were positive for MLV. CONCLUSIONS|
SIGNIFICANCE: No MLV-related virus was detected in blood, brain, and semen samples of ASD patients or fathers. Hence infection with XMRV or other MLV-related viruses is unlikely to contribute to autism pathogenesis.
The study concludes quite simply:
Our results, combined with those reported by Sutherfield et al , render XMRV contributions to autism highly unlikely. Nonetheless we cannot exclude that MLV-related viruses may play a role in rare cases.
Note that “Sutherfield” is a typo. Should be Satterfield. The reference is to the paper in Molecular Autism which was the topic of the discussion from last year that I linked to in the introduction to this piece. Read more>>