, Volume 40, Issue 2, pp 181-184
Date: 21 Feb 2012

No evidence of XMRV infection in immunocompromised patients and HIV-positive individuals from Germany

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Xenotropic murine leukaemia virus-related virus (XMRV) has been detected in patients with prostate cancer and chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). The detection of XMRV in healthy individuals has raised concern about a possible virus transmission by blood products. However, recent studies challenge the association between XMRV and human disease. This study investigated whether or not XMRV is present in patients with altered immune function and individuals at increased risk of blood-borne viral infections in Germany.


We investigated 503 peripheral blood mononuclear cell (PBMC) samples from 240 patients with iatrogenic immune suppression (71 haematopoietic stem cell recipients, 132 solid organ transplant recipients, 37 others) and 311 PBMC samples from 302 patients with HIV-1 infection for the presence of proviral XMRV by real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR).


All 814 PBMC samples from 542 patients tested negative for XMRV DNA and positive for an internal herpesvirus saimiri (HVS) control. Human genomic DNA was detected in all samples, and 90% of the samples contained >10,000 cell equivalents per XMRV PCR reaction.


Our failure to detect proviral XMRV provides evidence against the presence of XMRV in patients at increased risk of viral infections in Germany.