NIH/FDA Study Detects MLV-related virus gene sequences in blood of patients with chronic fatigue syndrome! – Implications for chronic Lyme disease

Breaking news for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome patients (often undiagnosed Lyme disease) and those with chronic Lyme disease.

A recent study done by the NIH, FDA and Harvard Medical School reports evidence of murine leukemia virus-related viruses (MLV) in the blood of 32 of 37 CFS patients tested. (XMRV is one of several variants of the MLV family of retroviruses, and the findings clearly support the WPI team’s Oct 2009 paper in Science, the researchers stated.)

To read the full article, CLICK HERE

Dr Joseph Burrascano Jr., a much lauded Lyme disease expert and once-treating physician, said this recently with regards to Lyme Disease and the MLV-related viruses:

“Definitely stay tuned – the volume of new and important information about this virus and its disease associations is increasing rapidly and in my opinion should be a concern to every patient with chronic neuro-immune diseases, including those with chronic Lyme.”

**VIP Dx is the lab in the US that is currently offering testing for these viruses (they also have tests for various types of Mycoplasma, some of which are common co-infections in Lyme patients).

Although this finding may ultimately turn out to be less significant for those with “chronic fatigue syndrome”-type illnesses than is currently thought, it is still something to keep in the back of your mind.

Here is Dr. Garth Nicolson commenting on these retroviruses and the implications for those with chronic Lmye and other chronic infections. Dr. Nicolson is the founder of the Intitute for Molecular Medicine in California , who has done much research on Gulf War Syndrome and CFS, particularly dealing with chronic infections as a cause for these syndromes.



– The retroviruses

Will you please comment on the newly discovered MLV-related retroviruses in CFS patients, and what relationship they might have to the other infectious pathogens you have found in CFS.

Thanks.Rich Van Konynenburg


Hi Rich,

The newly evolving field of human gamma retroviruses (HGV), also called XMRV , and chronic illnesses like CFS/FMS is fascinating. This type of virus has now been found at high incidence in some but not all studies on CFS patients. There may be technical reasons why some groups have not found these infections, but the field is new and in constant flux.

My guess is that similar to other related retroviruses the HGV may cause changes in our immune systems rather than directly causing the most obvious signs and symptoms associated with CFS. Their effect may thus be indirect, just like the HIV-1 retrovirus causing immune suppression in AIDS rather than directly causing the symptoms of AIDS.

Thus HGV may set up patients for other opportunistic infections, such as Mycoplasma, Chlamydia, Borrelia, CMV, HHV6 and other bacteria and viruses that actually cause most CFS symptoms.

This is why patients who have these other infections, such as bacterial infections, benefit from their specific treatment in the absence of anti-viral treatment. This would not occur if the symptoms were entirely caused by a retrovirus.

Thus I predict that anti-retrovirus treatment will not eliminate most symptoms in CFS patients, because they are more likely caused by other infections.

However, modulating immune responses by suppressing viruses that could affect immune systems could have some positive effects. Eventually this will all be worked out, and we will find out what role retroviruses, along with other bacteria and viruses, play in chronic illnesses like CFS and FMS.”

UPDATE: A friend of mine who has Lyme recently spoke with her doctor (a very well-known LLMD – Dr. Jemsek) who is most well known for having diagnosed the first case of HIV/AIDS. He said to her that at this point he would not test for the XMRV retrovirus as the research is just too new to even go there at this point. He also said that the drugs they are using to treat XMRV are terrible and taking them and the resulting Herxheimer one would have would be worse than one could imagine. We’ll see how it pans out!


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