GREENWOOD, SC — (Marketwire) — 06/01/11 — Incorrect medical recommendations and a near worldwide blood ban for persons with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) were based on a study the editors of Science now want retracted, reported the Wall Street Journal on Tuesday. However, a small company in South Carolina knew about the flaws in the study well before the blood ban.
“We were actually interviewed by several blood banks before the blood ban was put in place,” said Dr. Brent C. Satterfield, President of Cooperative Diagnostics. “They wanted to know why we withdrew our XMRV test from the market.”
Cooperative Diagnostics launched its XMRV test just 16 days after the heavily publicized paper connected the mouse virus with CFS. A few months later, the company was also heavily criticized for being the first to withdraw its product from the market. They knew about the upcoming controversy well before it became public.
“We told the blood banks we found no evidence of XMRV in people with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. We have no interest in selling tests for a virus that is falsely associated with disease,” Dr. Satterfield continued. “Obviously, since we declared this before any of the major players had published their results, few if any believed us.”
Not only were near worldwide blood bans put into place after these interviews, but unfortunately some CFS patients in consultation with their doctors began controversial, off-label use of toxic HIV medications. They hoped that the HIV medication would stop the mouse virus. Of course with no mouse virus present, the patients only received the potentially harmful side effects. Concern for patients resulted in several scientific publications calling for this practice to cease.
Cooperative Diagnostics later published its findings together with the United States Center for Disease Control. Their findings were one of the many publications that showed the original study was flawed. The editors of Science requested a retraction of the flawed study after a landslide of evidence proved Cooperative Diagnostics’ findings to be correct.
Marcus, Amy Dockser: “Chronic-Fatigue Paper Called into Question” Online Wall Street Journal. May 31, 2011 http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303745304576355852212887170.html
Lombardi, et al: Detection of an infectious retrovirus, xmrv, in blood cells of patients with chronic fatigue syndrome. Science 2009, 326:585-589
Satterfield, et al: Serologic and pcr testing of persons with chronic fatigue syndrome in the United States shows no association with xenotropic or polytropic murine leukemia virus-related viruses. Retrovirology 8:12
For Q&A on XMRV, see http://www.cancer.gov/newscenter/qa/2011/xmrv_qa
About Cooperative Diagnostics: Cooperative Diagnostics was founded to make high impact molecular diagnostics available to the people and nations who need them most. As pioneers in the application of mathematical models of molecular interactions in diagnostic design, the company succeeded in creating tests at costs even the poorest nations can afford. For more information, see www.codiagnostics.com