CROI 2011 (Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections):
At minute 50:45 a very interesting discussion starts about the future studies in XMRV.
"Dusty Miller and Steve Goff have shown some pretty convincing evidence that this virus behaves differently than other MLVs."
"Is preXMRV-2 infectious?"
"Currently the only experiments underway are trying to figure out if this virus, pre-XMRV-2 is infectious. When you look at the full length sequence it seems to have open reading frames and so there seems to be no reason for it not to be infectious. But we don't have any results on that."
"I know a number of people who have been working with these mouse viruses for years and it (XMRV) does seem to be behaving differently."
"At least in culture, this is a replicating virus that can cause an infection in primary human cells in addition to cell lines and can pass to other cells and it is different from a lot of known MLVs so from a basic science perspective there is some interest in this virus."
Mike Bush - Director, Blood Systems Research Institute - "I think that there is no doubt after this meeting that this virus arose from a recombination when an original prostate tumor was explanted and propagated and it's extraordinarily infectious. In vitro it is clearly demonstrating infectivity and in explants and a variety of human cell lines and it can transmit into non-human primates. I'm a little concerned, this was human created in the laboratory and it's a highly infectious retrovirus. And subsequent to that event, could it transmit to humans? We've been doing studies in pedigreed negative controls, some of whom happen to be lab workers working with this virus who intermittently score positive in one lab or another and I've just ignored that but now I'm beginning to be a little concerned that might there be transient infections in humans. Has anyone embarked on studies to look at nucleic acid or serologic detectability in lab workers who have or are working with these cell lines?"
William Switzer/CDC (54:55 min)
"I just wanted to add to that, we share your concern Mike and we (the CDC) have started a study looking at some archived specimens that we've screened and found other simian retroviruses for example and we're going to look for XMRV and other MLVs."
See also: CDC will now look for XMRV and MLV in their own lab workers !