The XMRV debate and studies continue. Three of the latest studies conducted have revealed negative results. Below are links and excerpts from each of the three studies. The first study was done on 540 HIV-positive subjects; the second study was done on 110 prostate cancer tissue samples and the third study was 200 blood samples obtained from people with prostate cancer.
We extracted peripheral blood DNA from a cohort of 540 HIV-1-positive patients (approximately 20% of whom have never been on anti-retroviral treatment) and determined the presence of XMRV and related viruses using TaqMan PCR. While we were able to amplify as few as 5 copies of positive control DNA, we did not find any positive samples in the patient cohort.
Real-time PCR analysis of 110 PCa (Gleason scores >4) and 40 benign and normal prostate tissues identified six positive samples (5 PCa and 1 non-PCa). No statistical link was observed between the presence of proviral DNA and PCa, PCa grades, and the RNASEL R462Q mutation. The amplified viral sequences were distantly related to XMRV, but nearly identical to endogenous MLV sequences in mice. The PCR positive samples were also positive for mouse mitochondrial DNA by nested PCR, suggesting contamination of the samples with mouse DNA. Immuno-histochemistry (IHC) with an anti-XMRV antibody, but not an anti-MLV antibody that recognizes XMRV, sporadically identified antigen-positive cells in prostatic epithelium, irrespectively of the status of viral DNA detection. No serum (159 PCa and 201 age-matched controls) showed strong neutralization of XMRV infection at 1:10 dilution.
New ELISA assays were developed to measure immunoreactivity for XMRV. Antibody titers were measured in a cohort of prostate cancer cases and cancer free controls from the central United States. No statistically significant differences were observed in immunoreactivity between cases and controls for either the XMRV-env or the XMRV-gag antigen.