As expected, the XMRV virus research has stimulated interest in a host of studies to see if the initial study results can be replicated and to discover treatments for XMRV. Since my last website newsletter on XMRV testing and research, two interesting new studies have been reported.
The first study suggests that of the 10 most common antivirals used against retroviruses, the only one that showed any effectiveness against XMRV (in test tubes) was AZT. This will give researchers an important starting point in exploring treatment for XMRV. I would NOT recommend this treatment yet for CFS though, as it can be fairly toxic and we don’t know if it will have any benefit.
The second study was done in the UK, and screened 186 CFS patients for XMRV using PCR testing (looking for genetic material). None of these patients tested positive for XMRV. This finding should be tempered by the same issue being found for prostate cancer and XMRV. Where the American studies found XMRV to be more common in prostate cancer, this association was not found in other European studies. This suggests that either XMRV infection is more of an issue in the US or that the testing methodology used in the European study was inadequate (which is what the WPI is claiming).