Sunday, October 18, 2009

How is XMRV acquired?

Without doing further studies, it is difficult to establish exactly how XMRV is acquired. Being a retrovirus, it is as sure as the setting sun that tainted blood products, and injection drug use being some of them. A study by Umberto Tirelli in Archives of Internal medicine "Clinical and Immunologic Study of 205 patients With Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: A Case Series From Italy", seems to indicate some interpersonal mode of transmission between household members and casual contacts, appear to have been infected with a virus related to HTLV-II.

The initial onset of the disease with flu like symptoms seem to suggest an acute phase, where perhaps the virus is spread by droplets much like influenza. A certain amount of credence must be given to such a scenario, given that a number of young catholic nuns at a convent in Monterrey, Mexico were afflicted with the disease in 2003-2006, complaining of general malaise, and body aches which upon physical examination revealed little. This brings into question that maybe XMRV is spread through saliva as well, meaning that sharing utensils could transmit the disease.

The possibility of an insect vector cannot be ignored. Mice being a reservoir of XMRV, leads to the distinct possibility that blood sucking insects such as mosquitoes, sandflies, horse flies, and ticks could transmit the disease to humans.

1 comment:

  1. Isn't it obvious that if populations (eg, infants, toddlers, nuns,etc.) that have never had a 'needle stick'/blood transfusion ALSO have confirmed XMRV infection that the MAIN mode o transmission is via INSECTS/ARTHROPODS???

    Recognition of this 'fact' would allow the start of focus on finding ways of 'managing' multiple insect vector reservoirs NOW!!