Thursday, March 17, 2011

NATURE EDITORIAL: evidence suggests that chronic fatigue syndrome has an infectious origin

Nature 471, 266 (17 March 2011) doi:10.1038/471266a, Published online 16 March 2011:

Scientists are taking the risk of XMRV seriously, as they should. The National Institutes of Health and others examining the link should see their studies through. A thorough, well-funded effort to get to the bottom of the situation should help to ensure that time, money and the careers of young scientists are spent effectively. But if the association is not borne out by these studies (and the preponderance of evidence thus far suggests that it may not be), will the spotlight on chronic fatigue syndrome endure or dim?

Many scientists who have waded into the debate are experts in viral disease, and they say they are unlikely to pursue work on chronic fatigue. This is a pity but, given the pile-up of criticism that was Mikovits' reward for diligently following up her data, perhaps no surprise. Several lines of evidence suggest that chronic fatigue has an infectious origin. It is to be hoped that one day scientists will manage to pin it down once and for all.

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