XMRV and MVL Testing for Gulf War Veterans at VA Hospitals Questioned!

News on Treatment Potential For XMRV,  Will It Help Ill Gulf War Veterans?

News by means of a new abstract on treatment potentials for XMRV and MVL appears below.

Still awaiting any results of testing for XMRV or MVL from Gulf War Veterans who are ill.  The author knows that samples were sent off for testing that involved gulf war veteran serum, but as yet no word on the results.  But if a paper is to be written then results may not be known until paper is published in a peer review journal.  Hopefully there will be breaking news on that sooner rather than later!  In the meantime researchers are examining treatment options and there definitely seems to be a fast tracking going on in the background.  For the hundreds of thousands gulf war veterans (90-91) it can not be fast enough. 

The hope is that we have a biomarker, a diagnostic test, and possible treatment in the near future.  It has been 20 years and quality of life and ability to recover enough to live a productive life is what should be the target!  The civilians with CFIDS/ME/Fibromyalgia numbering in the millions 1-4 in this nation alone have also been waiting for decades for recognition and help.

In the meantime DR Klimas is one researcher and medical doctor that has set up or in the process of setting up clinics to deal with this huge patient load.  But so far no word on how gulf war veterans will pay for this at an estimated cost of 3,300 dollars.  Will VA pay the bill for gulf war veterans?

That is a question no one has gotten an answer.  Certainly the VA is not paying yet for the testing that is now available.  No word yet if Tricare would pay or if insurance companies will pay for the testing that is available.  If you are a gulf war veteran speak up!  If you are a civilian let us know if your insurance is covering the testing cost!

We urgently need information flow not only to CFS patients but veterans.  As well as information flow to the VA Headquaters and to VA doctors.

Please veterans ask your doctors at the VA if they have heard about XMRV or MVL.  Please provide your feedback in the comments section below!


XMRV to antiretroviral inhibitors

Robert A Smith email, Geoffrey S Gottlieb email and A Dusty Miller email

Retrovirology 2010, 7:70doi:10.1186/1742-4690-7-70
Published: 31 August 2010
Abstract (provisional)


XMRV (xenotropic murine leukemia virus-related virus) is the first known example of an exogenous gammaretrovirus that can infect humans. A limited number of reports suggest that XMRV is intrinsically resistant to many of the antiretroviral drugs used to treat HIV-1 infection, but is sensitive to a small subset of these inhibitors. In the present study, we used a novel marker transfer assay to directly compare the antiviral drug sensitivities of XMRV and HIV-1 under identical conditions in the same host cell type.

We extend the findings of previous studies by showing that, in addition to AZT and tenofovir, XMRV and HIV-1 are equally sensitive to AZddA (3′-azido-2′,3′-dideoxyadenosine), AZddG (3′-azido-2′,3′-dideoxyguanosine) and adefovir. These results indicate that specific 3′-azido or acyclic nucleoside analog inhibitors of HIV-1 reverse transcriptase (RT) also block XMRV infection with comparable efficacy in vitro. Our data confirm that XMRV is highly resistant to the non-nucleoside RT inhibitors nevirapine and efavirenz and to inhibitors of HIV-1 protease. In addition, we show that the integrase inhibitors raltegravir and elvitegravir are active against XMRV, with EC50 values in the nanomolar range.

Our analysis demonstrates that XMRV exhibits a distinct pattern of nucleoside analog susceptibility that correlates with the structure of the pseudosugar moiety and that XMRV is sensitive to a broader range of antiretroviral drugs than has previously been reported. We suggest that the divergent drug sensitivity profiles of XMRV and HIV-1 are partially explained by specific amino acid differences in their respective protease, RT and integrase sequences. Our data provide a basis for choosing specific antiretroviral drugs for clinical studies in XMRV-infected patients.

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9 Responses to "XMRV and MVL Testing for Gulf War Veterans at VA Hospitals Questioned!"

  1. Kathryn Stephens  September 7, 2010 at 2:30 pm

    @Kevin: Thanks for this very interesting article; I don’t claim to understand it all, but it certainly seems to correlate to what is know about GWI and CFS.

    I couldn’t tell if a reason was given for the VN involvement, unless minor infection was one.

    Q: If XMRV shown to be causative in GWI and/or CFS, and as it’s not just an infection or virus, but a gammaretrovirus, would that be enough to trigger this cascade of events?

    This “VN” description is so like CFS, and seems so easy to test for; has the VA instituted any studies on this?

    Thanks again.

  2. karen daggett  September 2, 2010 at 9:25 am

    this is very good info. thank you all . i keep printing out and drs keep poop pooping all of us. my hubby was sick when he came home, you could tell right off the bat.Then my dad who already had crohns got sicker,and died.Then our son who was only 15yr old at the time, ended up in hopsital with triple pnemonia.All my joints swelled so bad,i couldnt walk, or move without so much pain that i wanted to die. Its been down hill ever since. Hubby has more and more wrong,but they are telling him now,its just old age. BullCrap,i dont buy that for a second.There isnt many days when i wake up that i am ready to take on the world. Most of the time i cant even think straight and I am angry most all the time. I see it,but just cant help it. I have lost most all of my friends. I have only my husband and son, and they dont want to deal with me,they have the same kinds of problems. Some days now,I ask God,why just not take me and be done with it all. I hate living like this. I hate seeing my husband and son sick,and cant come up with a way to make them better. I hate seeing all our fellow vets out there going through the same things. I cant find a way to comfort them. This is one hell of a live we have been thrust into.

    And yes, on the fact that Cancer,Diabetis and other illnesses are VIRURAL,its true. I have known this a long time, I tried to make my drs.understand this, and they just looked at me like i was just crazy.

    And all the drugs, they are shoving at us, are not helping, just making it worst.

    God Bless each and everyone of you, and your families. Stay strong.

  3. 24 yr Vet  September 2, 2010 at 8:35 am

    @Gulf Vet~

    The NIH does NOT have a test YET…. “they were doing Research” together with the FDA and Harvard and their results showed 85% Positive for numerous MLV’s of which XMRV is a cousin…

    Thank you for your Reply…. Yes. the Best 2 Doc’s to help us are either Dr Cheney or Dr Peterson that help start the Whittemore Peterson Institute,
    working with the Center for Molecular medicine at the University of Nevada in Reno.

    If all of this testing shows that we DO have Retroviruses… Hello they are with YOU for LIFE and you will be passing them down to your kids.. One reason they believe so many kids are now getting Autism also…in addition to some forms of MS, FM, MCS, and maybe even Lyme.

    Lord knows Vets and kids have all of the vaccines in common that could have also been one of their Triggering Events.

    Many Vets and

    The only place that has a decent test right now is VipDx, which is WHY we feel that there should be a cheaper PUBLIC test available just like with HIV.

    Also How many Vets get transfusions? They are STILL NOT screening the blood
    for any retroviruses and thus even if you didn’t have it before… there are now an average of 10 million Carriers in the USA, just like people can carry HIV
    and not have AIDS yet…

    The PUBLIC doesn’t even KNOW that could be carrying this….
    Talk about “LACK of TRANSPARENCY?”
    w/o even counting the Vets… 17 million round the world have this…

    Can We PLEASE get some SERIOUS Blood Screening DONE..???
    This is a Public Safety issue also…

    Do NOT use the Vets like Guinea Pigs and the Public also..
    Clean the closets at the CDC and get someone there
    that knows what they are doing.

    If the WPI, Cleveland Clinic, National Cancer Institute, NIH, FDA, and Harvard CAN find Retroviruses… excuse me …. but What the Heck is the CDC
    playing around with… are they playing games on their computers
    while we pay their salaries?

    How many citizens need to be effected before something SERIOUS is done?
    Do we need to have Cameras in Walter Reed again?
    God forbid anyone at the CDC get sick with this… maybe they might need a transfusion soon?
    Dr Cheney takes this serious… he had to have a heart transplant.

    Respect your Vets, Respect your Citizens, and CONTROL your Diseases……….
    Get REAL about Research or QUIT.
    Honor your Flag or GO Find another one..
    Love your Country or LEAVE.

  4. Gulf Vet  September 1, 2010 at 1:05 pm

    I read the full article and found that the NIH test only showed the viruses half the time.
    It called for better testing methods before research can start. This makes good sense. We need good science working to help us.

    Do a Google on the viruses and you will also fined they are doing research using drugs used to treat HIV.

  5. Sharon  September 1, 2010 at 10:58 am

    A now 900 plus member group (patient driven) is in the process of getting together a logo, website, text, and donations for a 1/2 page Advert in the Washington Post newspaper. This Advert is going to discuss the newly discovered Retrovirus Family found by WPI/NCI/CC and now the FDA/NIH. We must get the attention of Senior policy makers in Washington to get more funding for research.

    I know that I got CFIDS after the Gulf War. I was a civilian supporting a defense contractor and was at the Pentagon several times a week. We also had our guys going and coming from the Gulf. In the company I worked for there were about 18 people that had the exact same symptoms as I had. The Nurse/MBA said we were depressed and sent us an email telling us to go see Dr. Cheney in NC. Mind you we were all too sick to see anyone outside a 10 mile drive. That was a cluster at a NOVA Defense contracting company that went unnoticed. Documents of the sick were not kept because the Nurse/MBA was there NOT to help employees, but to keep costs down for teh company profits. I was terribly sick (bedbound/housebound) for 10 years and then my husband got a virus and was sick (and disabled/retired from DoD as an SES-5). He has been sick for over 5 years and I have been sick for 16 years this August. We both either sleep much of the day (me) or lay on the couch without any body energy (him) day/night and we were both hyper, driven and highly effective people pre-virus. Sounds very contagious doesn’t it? Sounds like a virus doesn’t it?
    So, please. Hit the link http://www.causes.com/causes/511536?m=f042604e and read what this patient-driven group is trying to do to get the message OUT into Washington and to those that do not know what is going on with this disabling and most likely virus(es). We need money for research for this virus. We need money for testing, diagnosis, treatment and to help those that are in dire financial need.
    Visit the link above, join, and if possible, donate. There are many ways to donate in addition to Facebook. Instructions are provided for the other donations means.
    We ALL must make noise in Washington NOW before our window of opportunity closes again on us all. Remember, viruses (retroviruses) are KNOWN to cause diseases and cancers. Please be a part of something that will make noise and bring massive change. Sleeping for 16 years was not part of my game plan. Don’t let this virus spread to your family, friends, and the rest of the public (7% of the US population is 20 million possible carriers of this virus family and many of those people have been donating blood to our nation’s blood supply for 30 plus years). Help please! Thank You – Sharon Stapleton.

  6. oerganix  September 1, 2010 at 8:55 am

    No insurance will pay for testing until the FDA gives its approval. That process is in the works. But these MLVs, of which XMRV is only one, have not been PROVEN to cause CFS, at least not to the satisfaction of those who make the decisions on testing and treating. Those studies are also underway. Treatment trials are the only way to get drug treatments right now, unless your doctor is willing to prescibe them.

    1st National Workshop on XMRV coming up Sept 7-8, with at least two new studies showing CFS patients positive for XMRV.

    Unfortunately, CDC is still saying all the tests and treatments CFS savvy docs use are “experimental”, so that lets the government and the insurance industry off the hook and leaves millions without treatment of their symptoms.

    Fortunately, FDA and NIH have opened their eyes and are looking for the light at the end of the tunnel.

  7. Kevin  August 31, 2010 at 11:09 pm

    This theory makes just as much sense if not more than xmrv and should be investigated fully by any scientist truly passionate about solving this mystery!!

    Postulated vasoactive neuropeptide autoimmunity in fatigue-related
    conditions: A brief review and hypothesis

    Gold Coast Public Health Unit, 10-12 Young Street, Southport, Qld 4215, Australia


    Disorders such as chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) and gulf war syndrome (GWS) are characterised by prolonged fatigue and a range of debilitating symptoms of pain, intellectual and emotional impairment, chemical sensitivities and immunological dysfunction. Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) surprisingly may have certain features in common with these conditions. Post-infection sequelae may be possible contributing factors although ongoing infection is unproven.

    Immunological aberration may prove to be associated with certain vasoactive neuropeptides (VN) in the context of molecular mimicry, inappropriate immunological memory and autoimmunity. Adenylate cyclase-activating VNs including pituitary adenylate cyclase-activating polypeptide (PACAP), vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP) and calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) act as hormones, neurotransmitters, neuroregulators, immune modulators and neurotrophic substances.

    They and their receptors are potentially immunogenic. VNs are widely distributed in the body particularly in the central and peripheral nervous systems and have been identified in the gut, adrenal gland, blood cells, reproductive system, lung, heart and other tissues. They have a vital role in maintaining cardio-respiratory function, thermoregulation, memory, concentration and executive functions such as emotional responses including social cues and appropriate behaviour. They are co-transmitters for a number of neurotransmitters including acetylcholine and gaseous transmitters, are potent immune regulators with primarily anti-inflammatory activity, and have a significant role in protection of the nervous system against toxic assault as well as being important in the maintenance of homeostasis.


    This paper describes a biologically plausible mechanism for the development of certain fatigue-related syndromes based on loss of immunological tolerance to these VNs or their receptors following infection, other events or de novo resulting in significant pathophysiology possibly mediated via CpG fragments and heat shock (stress) proteins. These conditions extend the public health context of autoimmunity and VN dysregulation and have implications for military medicine where radiological, biological and chemical agents may have a role in pathogenesis. Possible treatment and prevention options are considered.

    VNs belong to the secretin-glucagon super-family, exerting significant control over carbohydrate and lipid metabolism. They have important roles in vasodilation, neurotrophism, nociception, neuroregulation and neurotransmission including thermoregulation, cardio-respiratory control, balance and vestibular function, emotional and intellectual functioning including memory and concentration, and immunological and hormonal modulation.

    They exert their effects at high level in controlling central and peripheral nervous systems and hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal axis functions. Other vital functions regulated in the brain include olfaction, feeding and reproductive behaviours, circadian rhythm, and sleep–wake cycles. They and their receptors are expressed at important peripheral sites such as heart, gut, blood, lung, pancreas, liver and urogenital systems (Ishizuka et al. 1992, Arimura 1998, Sherwood et al. 2000, Hannibal 2002, Hashimoto 2002, Ganea et al. 2003). Compromise of their function is likely to have serious consequences for homeostasis.

    Endogenous opioid activity is functionally related to cytokine and VN activity suggesting that pain mediation and perception may be altered in conditions where endogenous opioid function is mpaired through VN mechanisms (Wilderman and Armstead 1997, Peterson et al. 1998). Nitric oxide (NO) metabolism is implicated in immunomodulation as well as possibly mediating chemical sensitivity in these conditions suggesting a plausible mechanism for some concurrent symptoms in CFS and GWS (Pall 2002, Onoue et al. 2002). Synaptic plasticity and pain behaviours are critically mediated by CGRP in the amygdala (Han et al. 2005).

    As these antibodies may be polyclonal with varying degrees of blocking capacity, this may explain heterogeneity in phenotypic expression of VN autoimmune fatigue disorders. In other words fatigue disorders of varying degrees of severity and duration may result.

    Ancient DNA sequences mimicking bacterial and viral genomes containing higher proportions of CpG elements have become incorporated into mammalian DNA as human endogenous retrovirus (HERV). These genetic components have become methylated over time making them mostly benign components of mammalian DNA. However, these DNA components may undergo hypomethylation through a range of stimulating factors, making them able to regulate transcriptional activity and expression of the HERV family (Lavie et al. 2005) with implications for a range of pathologies.

    The known association of VPAC2 receptors with acetylcholine and muscle function (Hinkle et al. 2005) suggests a patho-mechanism crudely analogous with autoimmune dysfunction in Myasthenia Gravis and may provide a useful model to explore. Hence treatment options such as pyridostigmine and thymectomy may be considered. In a series of three case reports, Kawamura et al. (2003) describe successful use of oral pyridostigmine in the treatment of CFS. This is an interesting finding given the possible association of pyridostigmine with the aetiology of GWS (Abou-Donia et al. 2004, Staines 2005b).


    The autoimmune hypothesis of VNs suggests that relatively minor infection or inflammation results in predictable pro-inflammatory cytokine and other responses which may have subsequent serious effects involving VN dysfunction. Other pro-inflammatory effects such as NO release and possible chemical sensitivities may also result. Modulation and termination of these inflammatory responses is required by VNs. Autoimmune effects, e.g. on PACAP/VIP or the PAC1/VPAC1/VPAC2 receptors will have a negating effect on VN function and also subsequent effects on intracellular mechanisms. While some inflammatory or infectious events may be trivial, compromise of the functions of VNs such as PACAP/VIP/CGRP is not. Brain, cardiac and other organs known to exhibit similar PACAP/VIP receptor function would also be expected to demonstrate dysfunction somewhat simultaneously. Prevention of SIDS and other disorders if shown to be VN autoimmune conditions may evolve from these concepts. Public health implications may exist if “epidemics” or simply seasonal circulating organisms have particular molecular mimicry with VNs or their receptors. Short term relatively benign IgM may shift to a more pathogenic IgG phenotype as autoimmune responses to VNs/receptors and result in longer-term profound impairment and disability. These VN autoimmune processes may also have implications for military medicine where radiological, chemical and biological agents may play an important role in pathogenesis.

    Further understanding of possible autoimmune dysfunction of these VNs and their receptors may
    elucidate the mechanisms of disabling fatigue-related syndromes such as CFS and GWS, and possibly SIDS, and open the way for routine laboratory investigations and prevention options. VN and receptor reactivation may prove to become successful interventions. A spectrum of interventions including genomic, immunological and biochemical/drug therapies may prove to be possible in VN autoimmune fatigue-related disorders. Interventions such as phosphodiesterase inhibitors, immunotherapy, VN replacement or VN receptor reactivation may prove to be useful in these conditions but are not yet tested.

    Full Paper


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