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Medical News and Perspectives |

Study Reignites Debate About Viral Agent in Patients With Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Bridget M. Kuehn
JAMA. 2010;304(15):1653-1656. doi:10.1001/jama.2010.1421.
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A study linking chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) in humans to a family of retroviruses that cause leukemia in mice appears to validate a controversial study published last fall. But far from settling the debate about the role of viruses in the disease, the new findings raise a host of questions about why other scientists, including a team from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), have failed to find such a link, and about the potential clinical and public health implications. The study was published in August in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (Lo S-C et al. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. doi:10.1073/pnas.1006901107 [published ahead of print August 23, 2010]).

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A family of murine retroviruses, including xenotropic murine leukemia virus–related virus (above), have been linked by a pair of recent studies to chronic fatigue syndrome.

(Photo credit: Whittemore Peterson Institute)

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