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This article is part of the supplement: 15th International Conference on Human Retroviruses: HTLV and Related Viruses

Open Access Meeting abstract

XMRV infection in human diseases

Otto Erlwein1*, Mark J Robinson1, Steve Kaye1, Myra O McClure1, Marjorie M Walker2, Anup Patel3, Wun-Jae Kim4, Mongkol Uiprasertkul5, Ganesh Gopalakrishnan6, Takahiro Kimura7 and Kikkeri Naresh8

Author Affiliations

1 Section of Infectious Diseases, Jefferiss Research Trust Laboratories, Imperial College London, London, W2 1PG, UK

2 Department of Histopathology, Imperial College London, London, W2 1PG, UK

3 Department of Urology, Imperial College Healthcare Trust, London, W2 1PG, UK

4 Department of Urology, College of Medicine, Personalised Tumor Engineering Research Centre, Chungbuk National University, Chungbuk, 361-763, Korea

5 Department of Pathology, Faculty of Medicine, Siriraj Hospital, Mahidol University, Bangkok, 10700, Thailand

6 Vedanayagam Hospital, RS Puram, Coimbatore,-641002, India

7 Department of Urology, Jikei University, School of Medicine 3-25-8, Nishi-Shinbashi, Minato-ku, Tokyo, Japan

8 Centre for Pathology, Hammersmith Hospital Campus, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, London, UK

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Retrovirology 2011, 8(Suppl 1):A238  doi:10.1186/1742-4690-8-S1-A238

The electronic version of this article is the complete one and can be found online at:

Published:6 June 2011

© 2011 Erlwein et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Meeting abstract

The novel gammaretrovirus xenotropic murine leukemia virus-related virus (XMRV) was identified in human prostate cancer tissue in 2006, confirmed in 2009 and later linked to a second human condition chronic fatigue syndrome, CFS. These investigations, all carried out in the US, have not been reproduced in Europe or in China.

We found no evidence for XMRV infection in CFS. Moreover, we failed to find evidence of XMRV infection in UK prostate cancer patients and in prostate cancer tissue taken from patients in India, Korea, Thailand and Japan, or in cancers other than that of the prostate.

Our UK CFS patients were consistently XMRV-free. We did, however, generate false-positive results from prostate cancer patient tissue, despite the fact that the no-template controls in our PCR were consistently negative and the PCR for murine mitochondrial DNA was often also negative.

Sources of this contamination will be discussed in our presentation.