Tuesday, August 24, 2010

CFS-Retrovirus Link Confirmed!

I'm sure by now most of you have heard the big news...the FDA/NIH study confirming the presence of a retrovirus in CFS patients has finally been published!!

Although the study did not find XMRV specifically in the CFS patients tested, it did find similar retroviruses in the same class as XMRV, known as MLV-related viruses (Murine Leukemia Viruses) in 32 of 37 CFS patients tested and also in 3 of the 44 healthy controls tested. 

As mentioned here before, any of these retroviruses might be able to be treated by existing anti-retroviral drugs, such as those used to treat HIV, so we don't have to wait for new medications to be developed and approved.  The Whittemore-Peterson Institute expects to begin testing some of these existing anti-retroviral drugs on CFS patients by the end of this year!

This news is so big that it's being reported by all the major news outlets, so this also means excellent publicity about CFS.  Check out some of these articles and share them with your friends and family:
How's that for an all-star line-up of publications?  And that's just the beginning.  This study is putting CFS in the limelight...and it's about time!

(a HUGE thank you to Denise for compiling all these links for me!!)


  1. I agree! This is exciting news indeed.

  2. Anonymous3:55 PM



  3. Wonderful news!!!Thanks for all the links here.....

  4. What's most interesting to me was that they used stored blood from the mid-90's that were originally tested for mycoplasma infection in CFS patients. None was found. But those samples were kept and this time they got a hit for the MLVs! They also went back this year and collected blood from 8 of those original people and found that they still had the MLVs in 7 of the 8 patients, although I think they said they had mutated somewhat (as would be expected with retroviruses).

  5. Very exciting!! Thanks for the info and links.

    As far as the anti-retroviral drugs, it would be the same or similar to what Jessica's on and you've been on...right?

  6. Laura -

    No, these would be something entirely new for us!! Jessica and I have both taken anti-virals (Jessica with far more improvement than me). The drugs they're talking about now are anti-retrovirals. Retroviruses have a unique ability to enter the DNA and require very specialized medications. Initial trials in the lab (not with patients yet) show that these drugs would work against the retroviruses they're finding in CFS. A whole new frontier!


  7. Oh - Even better news then! :)

  8. I ton more links:

  9. It is exciting news indeed. I can only speak for myself, but it's always been clear, even from my blood work, that there's a viral component to my illness even though I tested negative to XMRV. When I was on the anti-viral, Valcyte, my HHV-6 titers went through the roof. The doctors said it was as if the Valcyte had coaxed the HHV-6 out of hiding. Unfortunately, the Valcyte didn't get rid of the virus in my body. But it told me that my CFS was viral-linked.

    I hope this is the beginning of a new era in how the medical community and the general population view this illness.

  10. Anonymous10:15 AM

    how does one test for XMRV or MLVs? thanks.

    1. Actually, this is old news - the theories around XMRV and ME/CFS were later disproven.