Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Not Related to Virus
A 2009 paper suggesting a link between chronic fatigue syndrome and the XMRV virus has been retracted by the journal Science after various studies cast doubt on the conclusions and others were unable to replicate its findings. According to Reuters Health, many scientists have been wary about the implications of the study since its publishing.
“Science has long confidence in the report and the validity of its conclusion,” wrote Science editor-in-chief Bruce Alberts in the latest issue of the journal. “We regret the time and resources that the scientific community has devoted to unsuccessful attempts to replicate these results.”
The original paper stated that a link existed between chronic fatigue syndrome and a virus known as XMRV. Though the authors of the study stand by the original findings, other researchers have suggested that samples used to find the connection were contaminated with the virus and some of the images in the study had been improperly manipulated to substantiate the claim.
The authors of the paper admitted to Alberts that “important information” was indeed left out of the report regarding the images, but it was because a majority of the authors were unable to agree on wording to accompany the images.
Reuters noted that the paper caused a stir in the chronic fatigue syndrome community, with many of those who suffer from the ailment happy to at last have a cause for their disorder. Some even began taking medication to ward off the disease, the news agency said.
Just because the paper is gone does not mean it is likely to be forgotten soon, however. A team at Columbia University is already collecting blood samples from 150 patients with chronic fatigue syndrome to search for XMRV.