Thursday, December 9, 2010

A new slant on XMRV

Looking at XMRV, and seeing the mention of low copy numbers, how could such a virus cause such nasty disturbances in the immune system.  As a scientist,  I have to take an analytical point of view - a protein called APOBEC3 has been shown to strongly inhibit retroviral replication.  APOBEC3 is however only expressed in certain cells - testicular germ cells most mature blood cells in particular.  However it is only expressed in low numbers, or not at all in peripheral tissues.  That probably explains why it is found in such low copy numbers in blood cells and seminal plasma.  However, that does not mean one should engage in unprotected sex with someone with Fibromyalgia or CFS, even though XMRV is present in low copy numbers, ***IT IS STILL INFECTIOUS***.  Tonsilar tissues have been shown to be particularly prone to infection by XMRV.

Rather than simply giving up, it means we have to look elsewhere.  By elsewhere means brain, nervous system, lymphatic tissues, bone marrow, tonsils, prostate, spleen, muscle.  However, it would not be practical or ethical to biopsy brain or nervous tissue - which leaves the two best choices - bone marrow biopsy which can be done in a doctor's office, and muscle biopsy (in particular from tender points of fibromyalgia patients).  Both can be done with a needle, with only slight discomfort.


  1. This is very interesting because after my husband contracted this from me (unconfirmed XMRV, chronic Lyme, cfs), he became very ill, his tonsils became huge and started to hemorrage. They had to be carterized in the ER! They were almost going to have to give him another airway option too. His liver started to fail as well. They diagnosed mono despite weeks of neg testing prior to it getting this bad. We assume it was the babesia that attacked his liver but wondered about the tonsils.. maybe an EBV... but now that you mention this about XMRV. Fascinating.

  2. And what about lymphatic tissue? That's one of the places XMRV was found in the macaques used at Emory. Would that be an easy biopsy?

    I'm sure there are hundreds of thousand of ME/CFS/FM sufferers who would give you or any other bona fide researcher any biopsy you asked for, just to get this show on the road.

    Now is the time for ACTION!

  3. In fact, they stated in the Emory study that it was prevalent not simply in the lymphatic tissue, but in lymphoid organs as well--which include the tonsils and spleen...

  4. I am considering getting tested for xmrv here in the US because I'm practically bedridden. Diagnosed with depression 3 years ago, which was appropriate given that I was losing my home and career due to the disabling nature of CFS/ME. However, after some funky looking blood work, I was referred to a hematologist, who ordered a bone marrow biopsy. I'm not exactly sure what they found, but remember that the hematologist said they discovered some abnormal protein expressions.
    I strongly suspect I have CFS and am interested in knowing whether anyone who is researching this would be interested in seeing my biopsy results.