Sometimes papers make me laugh because they are so bad.
Sometimes papers make me laugh when they do or report something particularly clever.
This paper is the latter:
I literally laughed-out-loud several times while reading it.
Quick summary– Other people looked for XMRV in patients that had previously or were concurrently determined ‘XMRV positive’ by the WPI and their commercial branch, VIPDx. None of these ‘XMRV positive’ individuals were actually XMRV positive in a lab that controlled for contamination.
- 41 patients from an Incline Village clinic.
- 37 patients were previously tested by the Whittemore Peterson Institute and/or their commercial branch, VIPDx.
- 26 of those 37 tested ‘positive’ at WPI/VIPDx, 11 tested negative
Scientists used the exact same primers used by Lombardi et al to look for XMRV gag and env sequences in patient PBMC. While WPI/VIPDx said 26/37 were positive, this lab found 0/41 using previously reported detection methods.
Furthermore, of the 41 patients, 19 had blood drawn by the same phlebotomist at the same time for this group and WPI/VIPDx. WPI/VIPDx reported that 10/19 were positive. This group, actively controlling for contamination, found 0/19 were positive. Same blood, same patients, same time– and when you control for contamination, XMRV disappears.
- 29 patients from Petersons medical practice. The ‘Peterson’ of Whittemore Peterson Institute.
- 26 of the 29 tested ‘positive’ at WPI/VIPDx, 3 tested negative
This time they used Lo et als primers and PCR protocols.
Still no XMRV proviruses in patients PBMC. Also no XMRV RNA in patient plasma.
No XMRV as assayed by four different culturing methods– an indicator cell line, looking for an increase in RT activity over time, looking for increase in XMRV RNA over time, or assaying stimulated patient PBMC for three weeks.
… When contamination is controlled for.
They then took 19 patients in Group 2 and 7 healthy controls and looked for anti-XMRV antibodies.
None, in assays using two different XMRV proteins.
And then they also found something cool… very cool…
Normal human sera hates XMRV and MLV-like-whatever viruses.
It means if I took a blood sample from you, yes, YOU, right now, and took out all the cells. Thats your sera. If I mixed your sera, right now, with XMRV or MLV-blah-blahs, your sera would neutralize the virus. Yours. Right now. This is so old school, I am like, nostalgiaing out on this little assay– its either antibody-independent activation of complement, or you (ie humans) have a generic IgM or IgG arrangement that recognizes something on XMRV/MLVugh and activates complement. This is like, a 1970s-1980s thing applied to a virus in 2011. They couldnt have made me squeal and giggle in surprise any more if they had typed ‘and btw, CARE BEARS!’ in this paper or made a pic of He-Man Figure 4.
They also just made a cute little phylogenetic tree of the WPIs sequences and the XMRV plasmid VP62 and were just like “wtf. theyre vp62.” Its a random add-on, but no ones mentioned it, so I guess they felt motivated to.
- WPI/VIPDxs research and commercial ‘tests’ for XMRV finds positives that are a contaminant, VP62, in patient samples that test negative when contamination is actively avoided.
- Naked human sera hates XMRV and related Magic-Eye viruses, from healthy controls AND CFS patients. Another reason why XMRV probably isnt infecting humans, even if it had the opportunity to do so.
- The findings in the XMRV–>CFS papers is the result of contamination events, nothing more.