Monday, January 17, 2011

XMRV Could Likely Be an emerging zoonotic disease

Recently, a small study has revealed that ticks might be one way XMRV is passed on.  The study is being done by Dr. Eva Sapi and Dr. Joe Brewer.  The connection was discovered with a sample of chronic lyme disease patients showing 90% infectivity rates with XMRV and MLV's.  It is coincidental that the symptoms of Chronic Lyme, and Chronic fatigue syndrome are almost impossible to differentiate.  It also explains why despite antibiotic treatments, these patients fail to show improvements.  Ticks are already known to carry a form of viral encephalitis.

This points to a likely zoonotic host for XMRV - XMRV could be a new emerging zoonotic disease.  Figuring out the host will require the cooperation from veterinary researchers.  From transplant medicine, it is already known that pigs are full of endogenous retroviruses.  Deer are the primary host of ticks, although they can attach to mammals, birds, and occasionally reptiles and amphibians.  A study done in Connecticut shows that lyme disease incidence dropped in proportion to deer population - a 74% reduction in deer population resulted in a 90% drop in Lyme disease in humans.

A hunter from Nevada messaged me last summer, where he denotes "In 1984, there were deer everywhere.  I would see deer killed on the road daily.  The following year, there was a die-off.  We had gone hunting, and at the time my son was 16 - he became ill that fall, and he never got better.  Six years ago, he was diagnosed with Lymphoma, and became better after aggressive chemotherapy."


  1. I don't agree that Lyme and ME/CFS are indistinguishable. In a list of symptoms, yes. In actual gestalt, no. Many chronic Lyme patients do not have post-exertional malaise (PEM), which is the symptom that most defines ME/CFS from other conditions. Chronic Lyme patients are more likely to have certain neuropsych symptoms such as "Lyme rage," or classic neurological symptoms such as Bell's Palsy or other involvement of the trigeminal nerve (that's where my Lyme went, immediately -- I had facial pain and tooth pain in that area right after being bit). Another ME/CFS friend and I, after having ME/CFS and MCS for many years, both got Lyme a few years ago, and we were both coinfected with bartonella and babesia (I got bart separately, from a dog bite). The symptoms of *each* of these reads the same on a list, but they are all different. When we discussed it, it was fascinating: babesia fatigue is really unique, for example, and totally different from ME/CFS fatigue. Lyme and bartonella brought new neuro symptoms for both of us. The cognitive problems were different from the ones we've had for years with ME/CFS. Then we both watched antibiotic treatments start to work, peeling back the layers to the original ME/CFS, which didn't budge while our new Lyme/bart/babs symptoms started to recede.

    Also, I think it's possible that certain antibiotics are working via unusual mechanisms in XMRV patients. Ceftriaxone, for example, has been shown to have anti-dementia effects in AIDS -- so could it do the same for XMRV dementia-like symptoms?

    I do think, however, that many of us become coinfected. I don't think it will surprise many Lymies that XMRV can be spread by ticks, since the coinections seem to keep stacking up.


  2. Thanks Doc. Is this study out yet and if so, where is it published?

    I've had many tick bites. Never diagnosed with Lyme, but antibiotics got rid of my back pain and didn't touch my PEM or other ME symtoms.

  3. Recently, a small study has revealed that ticks might be one way XMRV is passed on. The study is being done by Dr. Eva Sapi and Dr. Joe Brewer
    can you give details of where you heard about this study and a link I am sure many on Eurolyme and elsewhere will be very interested.

  4. I find that my chronic Lyme DOES give me post exertional malaise (just referring to Peggy's post). It is very interesting to see research being done in the arena of XMRV & Lyme as well as chronic fatigue - I know that Burrscano also seems to be very interested in developments in XMRV & the role of other pathogens causing long lasting illness in patients. Looking forward to learning more!

  5. Are the lyme patients who are testing positive for this virus the ones who have CFS-like symptoms? I am guessing they would be the first who would request this testing. But not everyone with lyme has these severe fatigue symptoms, so it would seem to me that only a portion of them will have XMRV, and we will only know when a lot of lyme patients have been tested. It is too early to make any judgments, in my opinion.

  6. One thing no one seems to talk about re Lyme is that it's the mice, the mice!
    Although deer keep a lot of adult ticks alive, the young hatched ticks are nearly always living on small mammals i.e. mice. They are also on birds, hedgehogs and sheep, but several studies have shown that when the mouse population rises during a good year of acorns, so the tick population rises too.
    It's actually a well-known fact that one of the most important factors in rising tick populations is the number of mice and small rodents in the area - and so this is why a MOUSE retrovirus is so pertinent to the situation with tick borne diseases, don't you think?

  7. I am a dane, diagnosed with Fibromyalgi and 3 years later, with ME/CFS, typpical the specialist on the danish clinick said. I have recently found that I have Lyme with co. infektions, erhlichia and Clamydia Pnemonia.
    I have the post-exertional malaise (PEM), but no Bell's Palsy or other involvement of the trigeminal nerve.
    I know other danes with Lyme, with exact the same patern, as me.. so I don't think you can se the different at that way, I guess it is more how we are as humans, some get problems in the nerves, some in the brain, some feels bigger problems with the fatigue, muschels, pain.. and so - remember it is the great imitator, like syfilis.. It can be different with the co. infektions, too eys - but these zoonotic bakteries, parasittes and virusses is in the picture, as it seems now, every time - the diagnose is the only difference in the end. Many is not checked at all, if we realy got an proberly diagnostic, it will be found. It is so similar we can't sepperate them, too difficult. Instead I belive we have the key to many of those diagnoses, sick people get at the moment.
    And yes, it is the mice, not the dear who is the real problem.

  8. @Peggy:

    "Chronic Lyme patients are more likely to have certain neuropsych symptoms such as "Lyme rage," or classic neurological symptoms such as Bell's Palsy or other involvement of the trigeminal nerve "

    I didn't. I just found out last fall (after I tested +ve for XMRV), that I did have lyme/bartonella. So, it went undiagnosed and untreated for 17+ years.

    I did not have the 'classic' symptoms, and I have read that more time than not, this can be the case.

  9. @Anonymous

    " so it would seem to me that only a portion of them will have XMRV"

    There is evidence that around 40% of those positive for XMRV have Lyme. For the life of me, I cant recall where, but I will go google it again.

  10. Lyme, Babesia, Bartonella, Ehrlichia, Tularemia, Mycoplasma, HHV-6, Cytomeglovirus, Epstein Barre,
    all have severe fatigue and neurological disorders making it very difficult to rule out whether it is XMRV or the above. Since there are studies out there that prove Chronic Lyme Disease exists even after years of therapy ... persistent infection. So, if a patient is treated for years for the tick co-infections and then tests positive for XMRV ... who can prove that it is not one of the other infections re-emerging ... should antibiotics be given at the same time XMRV is treated ... makes sense to me.