Thursday, January 7, 2010

Whittemore Peterson Institute Releases Official Statement on UK Study

The Whittemore Peterson Institute has released an official statement regarding the recent UK XMRV study.  The position of the institute is that it basically discredits the validity of the study in whole, stating it does not even qualify as a replication study.  The Whittemore Peterson Institute states that they are actively collaborating with other research groups around the world, and as well Judy Mikovits stated in a New Zealand Herald article that blood their group tested from the UK showed very similar percentages of XMRV infection in London patients as in their published study!  Much like when Robert Gallo and Luc Montaigner discovered the HIV virus, other groups initially disputed their findings because they did not use the exact same methodology in their replication studies!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

UK Study a Sheer Disappointment - Credibility of Replication Study Questionable

It has come to my attention, and I have read the research article "Failure to Detect the Novel Retrovirus XMRV in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome" in the publication PLOS one.  I have studied the facts behind the research, which I find rather unremarkable at first glance.  However it has come to my attention from Dr. Suzanne Vernon's analysis that different primers were used, collection methods varied from the Whittemore-Peterson study, different methods were used to purify genomic DNA and amounts differed, and PCR amplification methods were different.  The fact that a different polymerase was used could skew the results altogether, fouling the results - the golden rule in replication studies is copy exactly!!!  What I did find remarkable however, is who is behind the research - noting the psychiatric connection: Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London - and none other than Simon Wessely - Britain's own version of Dr. Reeves - which pours some cold water on the credibility of this study - statements issued by Wessely stating his opinion before the experiment was done, and the speed in which it was done indicates it was not a good quality study.  Before any conclusions can be reached, I would like to see the results of the ongoing study by Dr. Kerr, which in my opinion should bear a significant amount of credibility, as should the Swedish study by Dr. Jonas Blomberg.

I would hope that the Whittemore Peterson Institute will retest the samples in this study, and establish whether or not experiment protocol was followed - meanwhile it's a waiting game for results of other studies.  Hopefully ME/CFS patients will not be forced to hear that neuropsychiatric psychobabble much longer - and the only way the truth behind ME/CFS will be known is through generously funded, high-quality studies.