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Lab Contamination

Posted by Balbuie on 09 Jan 2010 at 17:54 GMT

In the Discussion you state that your study differs from the Lombardi et al study in some respects, one being that you carried out your research in labs where no MLV research had previously been carried out, to negate the risk of lab contamination.

Lombardi et al took care over contamination too, to quote from the paper:

"To exclude the possibility that we were detecting a murine leukemia virus (MLV) laboratory contaminant, we determined the phylogenetic relationship among endogenous (non-ecotropic) MLV sequences, XMRV sequences, and sequences from CFS patients 1104, 1106, and 1178 (fig. S2). XMRV sequences from the CFS patients clustered with the XMRV sequences from prostate cancer cases and formed a branch distinct from non-ecotropic MLVs common in inbred mouse strains. Thus, the virus detected in the CFS patients’ blood samples is unlikely to be a contaminant."

Also, the research was carried out in three labs, WPI, NCI and Cleveland Clinic hence there would have had to have been contamination in all three locations.

Surely if the results of the Lombardi et al paper where due to lab contamination there should have been fairly similar levels of XMRV in the patients and the controls?

Can you please explain how lab contamination could account for the discrepancies of the levels of XMRV in patients and controls, 67% in patients and 3.7% in controls?

No competing interests declared.