Lack of Infection with XMRV or Other MLV-Related Viruses in Blood, Post-Mortem Brains and Paternal Gametes of Autistic Individuals.

7 Mar

Another paper has come out showing no link between XMRV (Xenotropic murine leukemia virus-related virus) and autism. A study last year (discussed on LBRB here) stated “These results imply that XMRV is not associated with autism.” In a study just released in the journal PLOS One, we see more evidence against such a link:

Lack of Infection with XMRV or Other MLV-Related Viruses in Blood, Post-Mortem Brains and Paternal Gametes of Autistic Individuals.

Lintas C, Guidi F, Manzi B, Mancini A, Curatolo P, Persico AM.

Laboratory of Molecular Psychiatry and Neurogenetics, University Campus Bio-Medico, Rome, Italy.
Abstract

BACKGROUND: Autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) is characterized by impaired language, communication and social skills, as well as by repetitive and stereotypic patterns of behavior. Many autistic subjects display a dysregulation of the immune system which is compatible with an unresolved viral infection with prenatal onset, potentially due to vertical viral transmission. Recently, the xenotropic murine leukemia virus-related virus (XMRV) has been implicated in chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) and in prostate cancer by several, though not all studies.

METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We assessed whether XMRV or other murine leukemia virus (MLV)-related viruses are involved in autistic disorder. Using nested PCR targeted to gag genomic sequences, we screened DNA samples from: (i) peripheral blood of 102 ASD patients and 97 controls, (ii) post-mortem brain samples of 20 ASD patients and 17 sex- and age-matched controls, (iii) semen samples of 11 fathers of ASD children, 25 infertile individuals and 7 fertile controls. No XMRV gag DNA sequences were detected, whereas peripheral blood samples of 3/97 (3.1%) controls were positive for MLV. CONCLUSIONS|

SIGNIFICANCE: No MLV-related virus was detected in blood, brain, and semen samples of ASD patients or fathers. Hence infection with XMRV or other MLV-related viruses is unlikely to contribute to autism pathogenesis.

The study concludes quite simply:

Our results, combined with those reported by Sutherfield et al [14], render XMRV contributions to autism highly unlikely. Nonetheless we cannot exclude that MLV-related viruses may play a role in rare cases.

Note that “Sutherfield” is a typo. Should be Satterfield. The reference is to the paper in Molecular Autism which was the topic of the discussion from last year that I linked to in the introduction to this piece.

5 Responses to “Lack of Infection with XMRV or Other MLV-Related Viruses in Blood, Post-Mortem Brains and Paternal Gametes of Autistic Individuals.”

  1. passionlessDrone March 7, 2011 at 23:59 #

    Hi Sullivan –

    Saw that. The XRMV thing is a real mess; it seems like you’ve got lots of folks that think the entire thing is impossible, some that think it isn’t clear, some groups have found associations in controls alongside cases; or in this instance, in controls only. Nobody can agree on what the appropriate testing methodology should be, how to discern if the positive findings are the result of contamination or not. Pretty much nobody agrees on anything. I’ll tell you one thing though, I’m very disturbed by the studies from the psychologists, and slightly less disturbed by the conflicting studies by the virologists.

    I’ve found this site to be as unbiased as I’ve seen regarding all things XRMV / MLV.

    http://www.virology.ws/tag/xmrv/

    IIRC, Persico has a similar theory involving polyomaviruses and autism; it’s nice to see him involved with this negative study.

    – pD

  2. aidan walsh March 8, 2011 at 01:35 #

    john burns school of medicine at the university of hawaii has already published and ‘replicated’ science proven that what they found is a bio-marker for all auto immune disorders with ciguetera (epitope)toxins and now this research has gone further with a link to ‘low level radiation’…a lot of doctors have commented in the past that this is a fish poison related to the ‘marshall islands’ and it is not directed at fish…this is why they have called it an (epitope)…the cdc/nih knew of this since 2003 and to this date they have done nothing…also there is a link to myelodysplasia syndrome(s) also a little to late now because it is already into the world food chains and epidemics will continue to evolve across the globe…there is no cure for this condition and xmrv is a total waste of time…this is where research monies should be invested and with proper ‘marine toxicologists’ not retrovirologists…replicated science is proven science and it is in black and white…sincerely aidan walsh southampton, u.k.

  3. Prometheus March 9, 2011 at 02:54 #

    “aiden walsh” posts the following:

    “john burns school of medicine at the university of hawaii has already published and ‘replicated’ science proven that what they found is a bio-marker for all auto immune disorders with ciguetera (epitope)toxins and now this research has gone further with a link to ‘low level radiation’…”

    I’m not sure what this has to do with autism, XMRV or anything; perhaps Mr. Walsh could post a citation. I did a quick Medline search and failed to find any reference to ciguatera being a “biomarker” for anything.

    Please elaborate, Mr. Walsh; this sounds fascinating.

    Prometheus

  4. aidan walsh March 14, 2011 at 22:54 #

    to get a more complete picture of all this work you may contact gail kansky at the national cfids foundation in boston and i believe their website is at ncf.org or ncf.com area code 617 449-3535 they are the group who have funded the university of hawaii with 100% of patients fundings…i hope this helps and if not leave me another message here or request my email from this website as that is o.k. with me….thanks for your interest…aidan walsh

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