Chronic Fatigue Virus not Associated with Virus XMRV

The Independent reports that US government officials have persuaded the editors of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences to hold off from publishing a scientific paper establishing the link between chronic fatigue syndrome and the virus XMRV. The study supporting the link was headed by virologists working for the Food and Drug Administration, but scientists at the Centers for Disease Control have authored another study that contradicts the FDA findings and finds no trace of XMRV in CF patients.

There has been controversy over this new cause of CF ever since an initial paper was published in the journal Science in October, 2009 as researchers have spoken out on both sides of the issue.  Some see an obvious connection between the virus and chronic fatigue syndrome, while others state that CF sufferers are no more likely to have the virus than healthy people.1

Update: 2014 recent research does not find such an association.2

Update, 2016: Molecular biologists traced the development of XMRV to a propagation of the virus from cell lines in a lab mouse in about 1993.  The virus apparently spread through contamination of lab samples of prostate cancer and/or CFS. “Well-controlled experiments showed that detection of XMRV was due to contaminated samples and was not a marker of or a causal factor in prostate cancer or CFS.”3


Learn more about managing chronic fatigue.

  1. Retrieved from
  2. Irlbeck DM, et al. (2014). No association found between the detection of either xenotropic murine leukemia virus-related virus or polytropic murine leukemia virus and chronic fatigue syndrome in a blinded, multi-site, prospective study by the establishment and use of the SolveCFS BioBank. BMC Res Notes. Aug 4;7:461.
  3. Johnson AD, et al. (2016). Xenotropic Murine Leukemia Virus-Related Virus (XMRV) and the Safety of the Blood Supply. Clin Microbiol Rev.  Oct;29(4):749-57.