Dec 22 2010 10:36 AMNews & Views

ME and XMRV virus link 'caused by contamination'

 
The latest laboratory news has revealed that a new study may disprove a theory linking the XMRV virus with chronic fatigue syndrome.

Scientists at University College London conducted research that found cell samples previously believed to suggest a link between the two were in fact tainted, the report featured in Retrovirology explains.

"All our evidence shows that the sequences from the virus genome in cell culture have contaminated human chronic fatigue syndrome and prostate cancer samples," Professor Greg Towers of the university's Infection & Immunity department said.

He went on to clarify that the condition - also known as myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME) – is not caused by XMRV.

It is thought the cells may have been contaminated by mouse DNA and as a result, the authors of the study have called for more rigorous lab methods to prevent this occurring again.

According to the ME Association around 250,000 people in the UK suffer from the condition.
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