Monday, December 20, 2010

Publishing 5 papers on the same day suggesting that XMRV is contamination

Robert A Smith, Retrovirology 2010
Published: 20 December 2010

Efforts to assess the prevalence of xenotropic murine leukemia virus-related virus (XMRV) in patients with prostate cancer and chronic fatigue syndrome have relied heavily on PCR-based testing of clinical samples and have yielded widely divergent findings.

This week in Retrovirology, reports from four independent research groups illustrate the extreme care needed to exclude DNA or RNA contamination in PCR analyses of XMRV. In addition, phylogenetic evidence suggesting that previously-published XMRV sequences originated from a commonly-used prostate carcinoma cell line (22Rv1) is presented. These findings raise important questions regarding the provenance of XMRV and its potential connection to human disease.

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