An ongoing dialogue on HIV/AIDS, infectious diseases,
June 2nd, 2011
Original XMRV/CFS Paper Almost, Sort-of Retracted by Science
From the pages of Science
In this week’s edition of Science Express, we are publishing two Reports that strongly support the growing view that the association between XMRV and CFS described by Lombardi et al. likely reflects contamination of laboratories and research reagents with the virus … Because the validity of the study by Lombardi et al. is now seriously in question, we are publishing this Expression of Concern and attaching it to Science’s 23 October 2009 publication by Lombardi et al.
In the roughly year and half since this story first broke on XMRV as a possible cause of CFS, there have been literally dozens of scientific papers (published, unpublished, and presented), many editorial comments, conference proceedings — and probably thousands of blog posts (I’ve added to the traffic) and impassioned comments from people suffering from this condition.
As I’ve noted before, perhaps the best coverage in the non-medical/science press has been over here in the WSJ.
And while there is now significant “concern” about this XMRV/CFS association, there is little doubt about the need for more research on CFS. One problem is that the XMRV debate could become a distraction in the search for other possible causes, host factors, diagnostic tests, and treatments. Let’s hope that doesn’t happen.