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Advances in Virology
Volume 2011 (2011), Article ID 782353, 6 pages
Research Article

No Evidence of XMRV or MuLV Sequences in Prostate Cancer, Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma, or the UK Blood Donor Population

1Section of Infectious Diseases, Jefferiss Research Trust Laboratories, Imperial College London, St Mary's Campus, London W2 1PG, UK
2Transfusion Microbiology R&D, National Transfusion Microbiology Laboratories, NHS Blood and Transplant, Colindale, London NW9 5BG, UK
3Centre for Pathology, Hammersmith Hospital, Imperial College Health Network NHS Trust, 115 1st Floor, L Block, London W12 0HS, UK
4Urology Department, St Mary's Hospital, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, London W2 1NY, UK
5Histopathology Department, St Mary's Hospital, Imperial College London, London W2 1NY, UK
6Department of Urology, The Jikei University School of Medicine, 3-25-8, Nishi-Shinbashi, Minato-ku, Toyko 105-8461, Japan
7Consultant Urologist, Vedanayagam Hospital, RS Puram, Coimbatore-2 641002, India
8Blood Borne Viruses Unit, Viralus Reference Department, Centre for Infections, Health Protection Agency, 61 Colindale Avenue, London NW9 5EQ, UK

Received 17 March 2011; Accepted 31 March 2011

Academic Editor: Yoshinao Kubo

Copyright © 2011 Mark James Robinson et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Xenotropic murine leukaemia virus-related virus (XMRV) is a recently described retrovirus which has been claimed to infect humans and cause associated pathology. Initially identified in the US in patients with prostate cancer and subsequently in patients with chronic fatigue syndrome, doubt now exists that XMRV is a human pathogen. We studied the prevalence of genetic sequences of XMRV and related MuLV sequences in human prostate cancer, from B cell lymphoma patients and from UK blood donors. Nucleic acid was extracted from fresh prostate tissue biopsies, formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded (FFPE) prostate tissue and FFPE B-cell lymphoma. The presence of XMRV-specific LTR or MuLV generic gag-like sequences was investigated by nested PCR. To control for mouse DNA contamination, a PCR that detected intracisternal A-type particle (IAP) sequences was included. In addition, DNA and RNA were extracted from whole blood taken from UK blood donors and screened for XMRV sequences by real-time PCR. XMRV or MuLV-like sequences were not amplified from tissue samples. Occasionally MuLV gag and XMRV-LTR sequences were amplified from Indian prostate cancer samples, but were always detected in conjunction with contaminating murine genomic DNA. We found no evidence of XMRV or MuLV infection in the UK blood donors.