FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Study Shows XMRV, a
Similar to HIV, Causes
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Patients have
Hope that Research is Finding Answers
CORAL GABLES, FLA., FEB. 19 - On Feb. 16, the
Journal of Virology published a study that shows the
recently-discovered human retrovirus, XMRV, leads to
chronic infection in multiple body organs.
Previous peer-reviewed studies show a link between
XMRV and patients with aggressive prostate cancer
and ME/CFS, also known as myalgic
encephalomyelitis and chronic fatigue syndrome.
The study, from the Department of Pathology and
Laboratory Medicine at the Emory University School
of Medicine, shows Xenotropic Murine Leukemia
Virus-related Virus (XMRV) can be found in the
spleen, lungs, gastrointestinal tract, lymph nodes
and sex organs after being injected into the body.
Additionally, the monkeys in the study produced
antibodies to fight the infection. Chronic infection
and immune system reaction are also common in the
two other infectious human retroviruses: HTLV-1 and
*This brings hope that answers to this
disease are within reach,* said Tina
Tidmore, spokesperson for the ME/CFS
Worldwide Patient Alliance (MCWPA), a
grassroots patient advocacy group.
*For the sake of those who have been
left to suffer and with the goal of protecting
the blood supply, government leaders need
to seize this opportunity and immediately
fund more research into this retrovirus and
the ME/CFS disease process.*
In 2010, an FDA/National Institutes of Health study
showed XMRV-related retroviruses in 6.8% of blood
donors tested, indicating as many as 20 million
Americans could be infected.
ME/CFS is Disabling and Chronic
ME/CFS is a disabling NeuroEndocrineImmune
disease that afflicts more than 1 million Americans
and an estimated l7 million people around the world.
Patients are often confined to wheelchairs or become
bedbound. Common symptoms include profound
exhaustion after performing simple tasks, sudden
plunging blood pressure, cognitive dysfunction,
migraines and daily flu-like symptoms.
The illness strikes men and women, young and old,
and is incurable.
ME/CFS first came to national attention during the
AIDS epidemic in the early 1980s, when a cluster
outbreak of the illness occurred in Incline Village,
Nev. and Lyndonville, New York. A 1991 Wistar
Institute study also showed a link to a retrovirus,
but the government later halted their retroviral
In 2009, the Whittemore Peterson Institute (WPI) at
the University of Nevada, Reno, working with the
National Cancer Institute and Cleveland Clinic,
published a trailblazing study that found an HIV-like
retrovirus, XMRV, in the blood of 67% of ME/CFS
patients and in 3.7% of healthy controls.
Meanwhile, though more than 4,000 peer-reviewed
articles in medical journals have shown system-wide
immune, neurological, endocrine, gastro-intestinal
and cardiac abnormalities in patients, the general
public is largely unaware of the gravity and
prevalence of ME/CFS.
In addition, the US government has chronically
underfunded research. In the National Institutes of
Health budget for 2012, just $6 million is allocated
for ME/CFS research, compared to $135 million for
multiple sclerosis and $114 million for lupus.
Yet twice as many people suffer from ME/CFS than
For more information, and spokespeople, including
leading researchers, scientists, physicians, patients,
and historians, visit http://mcwpa.org/
About MCWPA: Our mission is to create an
effective, cutting-edge advertising campaign
addressing the poor quality of life of individuals with
ME/CFS. By issuing a collective and unified
statement, our community will no longer be silent
and invisible. The MCWPA ad campaign is supported
by P.A.N.D.O.R.A. Inc., Vermont CFIDS Association,
Inc., R.E.S.C.I.N.D., Rocky Mountain CFS/ME and FM
Association and the Wisconsin ME/CFS Association,