THURSDAY, May 12 (HealthDay News) -- A new study shows that a
retrovirus called XMRV is not present in the blood of people with
chronic fatigue syndrome, a finding that contradicts previous
research that linked XMRV to the condition.
University of Utah School of Medicine researchers analyzed blood
samples from chronic fatigue syndrome patients and found no
evidence of XMRV (xenotropic murine leukemia virus-related
The new study findings were published online May 4 in the
Journal of Virology.
The findings of a previous study, published in 2009 in the
Science, led some chronic fatigue patients to take antiretroviral drugs in an effort to ease their debilitating symptoms.
But this new research suggests that the use of antiretroviral
drugs by chronic fatigue syndrome patients is not appropriate and
potentially dangerous, study leader Dr. Ila R. Singh, an associate
professor of pathology, said in a university news release.
"Our investigation found no trace of XMRV in any of the blood samples taken from patients we obtained ourselves, or from patients previously tested in the 2009 Science study," Singh said. "Because of our findings, we
believe chronic fatigue syndrome patients should reconsider the
merit of taking antiretroviral agents to alleviate their
Even though she and her colleagues found no evidence of a link
between XMRV and chronic fatigue syndrome, Singh said there is
enough data to support further research into whether other
infectious agents are associated with the condition.
"These research efforts must continue. Chronic fatigue syndrome is a devastating disease for which a cure needs to be found," Singh said.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more