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(Utdrag fra Orthomolecular magazine no.2)
«Searching for answers, we contacted Dr. Judy Mikovits yesterday. She is the research director for WPI and leader of the XMRV research. She gave us several answers during a telephone interview. “Frank Van Kuppeveld has sent us seven samples”, Mikovits said. “They were numbered 1 to 7. It was about cDNA, that he had made out of RNA”.
WPI tested these seven samples with advanced PCR techniques in a closed system, so that contamination was impossible. Three samples appeared to be positive. After they reported the positive numbers to UMC St. Radboud, a message was returned, saying it concerned 2 patients and one control subject. For Mikovits, this result was expected. “We never were informed how many control persons there were on those seven samples, but two positives in seven is approximately what I expected. I didn’t count on a 100% score, especially not with PCR.
That one control subject has been found positive by WPI was no surprise to Mikovits. “It totally depends on where you get the blood.” At BMJ the UMC St. Radboud researchers have declared that the control samples were taken from people from the same environment as the patients. “The positive control subject is no surprise if it concerns family or a care taker. Control subjects that come with the patients to give blood we call contact-controls. Some of these people might be infected.”
It is a fact that XMRV has been discovered with healthy persons. With WPI’s own Science Research, in a group of 218 healthy control persons, showed that 8 people had a positive XMRV test (3.7%) (4).
Judy Mikovits and her colleagues are disappointed that the UMC St. Radboud research group has stated nothing about the co-operation with WPI in the BMJ publication. “During a month, we contacted each other at least every 3 or 4 days,’ she said. “Material went back and forth, including co-operation agreements, signatures.” She felt van Kuppeveld was keeping her on her toes. “He was very strenuous and kept asking whether I had received, tested or looked at stuff.”
About a week before the BMJ published the UMC St. Radboud online, the communication fell silent. “That was after I had sent the positive results,” said Mikovits. “I considered it to be good news. You’ve got something to work with. But Van Kuppeveld didn’t consider it good news, because they didn’t find anything. His message was, on your side, there must have been contamination. Even though I got his material, I was speechless. That was the end of our contact. A week later their publication followed.”
Mikovits finds it unbelievable that the UMC St. Radboud researchers haven’t used the material they got from WPI in any way. They did claim to have done a replication study. “We sent them antibodies, positive serum and positive DNA,” said Mikovits. “Van Kuppeveld could have cultivated his samples, just like we did in our Science study. They could have tested their plasma for antibodies and they could have used our reagents to search for proteins and that kind of stuff. But they didn’t, and have also mentioned nothing about the possibilities to do it. We would have wanted Van Kuppeveld to report all the data. If there is a difference in opinion or a misinterpretation, you can look at it together. They could have adjourned the samples, and worked together with us. But you can’t just create the appearance to the outside world that nothing happened.”
In retrospect, van Kuppeveld and his colleagues only were interested in the PCR technique, while Mikovits assumed that at the UMC St. Radboud the entire Science study would be replicated. “I had no idea he didn’t want to do the rest of the research. That totally surprised me.“
The WPI kept silent until the beginning of this week. Mikovits suspects that Annette Whittemore was triggered by the statements Dr. Myra McClure recently made on television, where the British retrovirologist disregarded the meaning of XMRV with ME/CFS. After this, Whittemore decided to enter the arena with this letter. “For a long time we thought the best way to deal with this was to continue with the research and forget about the lies. What else can you do? We got seven samples, we did our jobs and reported honestly what we found.”
Mikovits confirmed that van Kuppeveld requested more samples. “I wanted to send him more, but what would he have done with it? Find out they were negative and say bad things about it? Mikovits is determined to walk the XMRV-route further, and she sounds more motivated than ever. “We’ve isolated a virus, and we displayed from a hundred people how their immune system is reacting. Did you know that there is no immune response to a contaminant? The patients obviously are infected with a virus.”
Mikovits isn’t the only one that takes XMRV seriously. Previously this month it was announced that in Canada people with ME/CFS aren’t allowed to donate blood. Canada is the first country in the world that has taken this precaution. »
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