News & AnalysisVirology

The Waning Conflict Over XMRV and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

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Science  30 Sep 2011:
Vol. 333, Issue 6051, pp. 1810
DOI: 10.1126/science.333.6051.1810

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Less than a day after a new study dealt what many consider a lethal blow to the controversial theory that a newly detected virus, XMRV, is linked to chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), proponents and skeptics of the theory squared off in a meeting. Judy Mikovits, the main champion of the idea that XMRV and its relatives play a role in CFS, didn't make the case for XMRV, but instead, she offered new evidence that people with CFS had a virus "highly related" to XMRV. Her opponent, heavyweight retrovirologist John Coffin, stated that all three legs of the stool the hypothesis rested on had been kicked out from under it. Mikovits's presentation underwhelmed several of the scientists attending.