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Chronic fatigue syndrome is not caused by XMRV virus, study shows

BMJ 2010; 341 doi: (Published 22 December 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;341:c7358
  1. Jo Carlowe
  1. 1London

The XMRV virus, which has been implicated as a possible cause of chronic fatigue syndrome, is not the cause of the disease, an overview of four research papers has concluded.

The new findings, from researchers at University College London, the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, and the University of Oxford, show that cell samples used in previous research were contaminated with mouse DNA and that this was the source of the XMRV (xenotropic murine leukaemia virus-related virus). The papers are all open access and are available at

The virus was first linked to chronic fatigue syndrome in a study published in Science in October 2009 (2009:326;585-9, doi:10.1126/science.1179052), which found that blood samples from patients …

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