Q: Why is VIP Dx testing for XMRV different from other commercial tests presently being offered?
A: XMRV testing at VIP Dx uses the same methods which were published in the Lombardi et al. October 2009 issue ofScience. Our methods require the collection and appropriate testing of 20 mL of whole blood. While this process is very time consuming and labor intensive, we have found that it dramatically reduces the rate of false negative results. Due to the nature of the testing methods, the cost of the XMRV test is greater than that of a standard PCR test.
Q: What is the turn-around time for XMRV testing?
A: Completing the full testing process and issuing an approved results report takes approximately 3 to 4 weeks. This period of time is required to grow the cells for a virus culture to be completed. Due to the large volume of test requests received, we currently have a longer processing time. If you have any questions, please contact our customer service.
Q: Does a negative result definitively mean that I am not infected?
A: Although we strive to offer the most sensitive test available, XMRV is typically present at a very low-copy number and could be below the limit of detection at the time your sample is tested. Re-testing at a later date is a decision for you and your physician or health care professional to discuss and determine the best course of action. We do not recommend re-testing for 3 to 6 months.
Q: Is it possible to have a positive result at one point in time and a negative result at a later time?
A: Although retroviruses are integrated into the cellular DNA of white blood cells and are considered life-long infections, it is possible that your immune system may hold the virus to a level below the limit of detection from time to time. Presently, the life cycle of the virus is unknown. If you receive a positive result at any time it is unnecessary to do retesting until more is known about XMRV.
Q: Are there any treatment options for XMRV infection?
A: There is much still to learn about XMRV and its effect upon the human body. VIP Dx is a clinical laboratory and does not recommend or advise treatment regimens. We encourage you to consult with your physician or health care professional regarding treatment options which may help your body deal with infection.
Q: How is XMRV transmitted?
A: Although little is known about transmissibility, it is assumed the virus is transmitted though body fluids, like other retroviruses.
Q: Is a serological test available at this time?
A: A serological test is currently in development.