On April 15, 2010, a government source told CFS Central that a soon-to-be-published CDC study hadn't found the retrovirus XMRV in Chronic Fatigue Sydrome (ME/CFS) patients but that another government agency had. The agency that found XMRV in CFS patients—and up to 7 percent of the blood supply—turned out to be two agencies: the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the FDA, as was leaked last week. Today the Wall Street Journal is reporting that the CDC paper which was accepted at the journal Retrovirology has been put on hold, as has the FDA/NIH paper, which was accepted at the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The reason? According to the Wall Street Journal, it's because "senior public-health officials wanted to see consensus—or at least an explanation of how and why the papers reached different conclusions." The CDC has had a problematic year where CFS is concerne d. The long-time CDC principal investigator for CFS research Dr. William Reeves was reassigned on February 14, which many critics believe was because the scientist was embarrassing the agency. Privately, insiders have told CFS Central that they did not expect the CDC to find the retrovirus because the agency's CFS definition has been watered down from one neuroimmune disease to five different combinations of depression, insomnia, obesity and "metabolic strain," as Reeves himself explained in a 2009 paper. If the CDC had found the retrovirus, it would have negated its 20-year affair with CFS as a psychological problem. Now that two other government agencies have found XMRV and other studies due out this summer have also found the retrovirus, critics point out that the CDC is in a no-win situation and beginning to look like the odd man out.
Information Release, CFS Central
* FDA And NIH Confirm XMRV Findings In ME/CFS Patients
Esme, Press Release from the Netherlands
* Detection of an Infectious Retrovirus, XMRV, in Blood Cells of Patients with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Judy A. Mikovits et al, 10.1126/science.1179052, Science Express