Changing status of XMRV / HGRV research
There is still no consensus in either direction for the existence or non-existence of XMRV associated with CFS cases. Studies out of Europe (Belgium and Germany) and the US (Cornell) as well as elsewhere which are separate from WPI, FDA and NCI are demonstrating evidence that cannot be due to a mouse contaminant for XMRV association with CFS. The strongest supportive study to date was reported by Dr. David Strayer out of Hemispherex Inc, (Philadephia, PA) at IACFS/ME in Ottawa and showed that 7/8 CFS cases and 2/17 controls were positive for XMRV using Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) technology available at Roche Labs in Germany. NGS is not susceptible to mouse contamination and demonstrates that XMRV is in fact integrated into human DNA which means it is a human virus. The Science (Lombardi et al, 2009) study still stands as the best evidence that this virus is transmissible from cell to cell and the studies out of WPI and Belgium demonstrate an immune response (antibodies) to XMRV and a cytokine profile (WPI) that suggests it is pathologic.
I expect that Next Generation Sequencing or NGS, which does not have the flaws of PCR technology in evaluating a poorly understood human virus(es), will be the best way forward to a consensus as to the question of association of CFS with XMRV/HGRV. This preliminary report out of Germany using NGS as well as human immune response data supports the association of XMRV with CFS, despite the flaws exposed in the current primary PCR technology used to define this scientific debate which appears very messy and excessively bio-political to date.