Thursday, January 6, 2011

Macaque monkeys and XMRV

Possibly the most significant CFS-related research published last year was done by a group connected with Emory University, Abbot Labs, and the Cleveland Clinic.

Rhesus macaque monkeys were injected with XMRV, and then their blood and organs were tested to track the progression of the infection.

After a few weeks, XMRV was almost totally gone from the blood. But the infection had spread to many of the organs, including the lungs, spleen, liver, lymphatic system, bronchial passages, gut, and the sex organs.

When the monkeys were later injected with a bolus of  foreign peptides (which mimics an acute infection, an immunization, or an acute mold exposure) there was a huge reactivation of infectious XMRV. Stress and certain hormones also appear to be significant reactivators.

This study is quite consistent with my observations of the behavior of my own illness over the past 16 years. It also sheds new light on several recent studies which failed to find XMRV in the blood of patients with XRMV.

I believe this study should provide new impetus and direction for future XMRV and CFS-related research.


  1. Wow, this is indeed significant. That would be one step closer to proving pathology in XMRV + ME/CFS and possible link to vaccines - Autism .

  2. Yep, I'm with you on this.
    Somebody's got to get to the reservoirs so they can see a lot more copies of the virus. Or maybe they could vaccinate just before testing for XMRV. That, however, could be a stunning blow to the vaccine industry and public health.

  3. I vaguely remember hearing about this study, and how XMRV thrived in the tissues rather than the blood. I somehow either missed or forgot the part about a huge reaction of infectious XMRV after injecting the monkeys with foreign peptides.

    Was there a control group of monkeys who were injected with foreign peptides after NOT being infected with XMRV?

  4. I don't think this necessarily supports the notions that vaccines cause autism, or that vaccines are dangerous.

    What it does do is show that things that put stress on the body, such as mold exposure, a viral infection, or a vaccine, can trigger a reactivation of XMRV.

    If there is in fact a causal connection between XMRV and CFS, then this would explain the experience of so many people with ME/CFS, which is that their symptoms get much, much worse when subjected to stressors like these.

    There is also a suspicion that XMRV may play a role in autism. If this turns out to be the case, then that could explain an apparent connection between autism and vaccines. But it would be the XMRV that's actually causing the autism; the vaccine is merely the trigger that launches it.

  5. To me the most significant result of this study is the revelation of the fact that, while over time the immune system clears XMRV from the blood, other organs - including the lungs and bronchial passages - develop extremely high concentrations of the virus.

    This is of significance in several ways: detection, transmission, and progress of the disease.

    It's important for detection, because it could explain why it's so hard to find XMRV in the blood of patients. Wouldn't it be better to be looking at mucosal secretions instead?

    It's important for controlling the spread of the infection to others, because if it's in bronchial secretions and the lungs, could it be transmitted by coughing, kissing, or sharing a spoon?

    It's important for understanding the progress of the disease, and its response to stressors.