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Lab Reports
November 2, 2011

Retrovirus and Chronic Fatigue

JAMA. 2011;306(17):1853. doi:10.1001/jama.2011.1576

New research indicates that the tests used to detect the retrovirus XMRV in patients with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) are unreliable (Simmons G et al. Science. doi:10.1126/science.1213841 [published online ahead of print September 22, 2011]).

A 2009 article reported that most patients with CFS were infected with XMRV (Lombardi VC et al. Science. 2009;326[5952]585-589), but the finding could not be confirmed in later studies. Now researchers (including the authors of the original report) at 9 different laboratories have published results from separate blinded analyses of blood samples from 15 individuals previously reported to be infected with XMRV (14 with CFS) and 15 healthy controls.