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Immunization Provokes XMRV Activation in Monkey Model

Science By Kent Heckenlively, Esq.

A new study from scientists at Emory University, the Cleveland Clinic, Yerkes National Primate Research Center, and Abbott Diagnositics and featuring such medical luminaries as Drs. Eric Klein and Robert Silverman is providing information on the path of XMRV infection in primates, and surprisingly the possible triggers for activation of the retrovirus.  The work was recently published in the Journal of Virology.

I have a long-standing interest in XMRV (xenotropic murine leukemia-related virus) as my daughter with autism/seizures and my wife have both tested positive for the retrovirus. (My daughter has also recently tested positive for co-infection by HHV-6, type B.)  I have tested negative for XMRV.  While  most of the recent commentary on XMRV has focused on its possible connection to chronic fatigue syndrome/ME, children with autism share many common clinical symptoms with the CFS/ME population, including immune disregulation, increased oxidative stress, expression of proinflammatory cytokines, low natural killer cell functionality, and active microbial infections.

A poster presentation entitled "Detection of Infectious XMRV in Peripheral Blood of Children" was made at the 1st International Workshop on XMRV in September of 2010 at the National Institute of Health in Bethesda, Maryland.  In a small sample it was found that 14 of 17 children (82%) of the children were positive for XMRV infection.

I was also intrigued to see that in the new book, The Myth of Autism by Dr. Michael Goldberg he marshalls abundant evidence of the commonalities between these two conditions, as well as receiving critical praise for his work from Dr. Nancy Klimas, one of the world's best known (and apparently beloved) experts on chronic fatigue syndrome/ME.

From the abstract of the study entitled, Infection, Viral Dissemination and antibody Response of Rhesus Macaques Exposed to the Human Gammaretrovirus XMRV, the authors explained, "XMRV was identified in association with human prostate cancer and chronic fatigue syndrome.  To examine the infection potential, kinetics, and tissue distribution of XMRV in an animal model, we innoculated 5 macaques with XMRV intravenously.  XMRV establised a persistent chronic disseminated infection, with low transient viremia and provirus in lymphocytes during acute infection.  Although undetectable in blood after a month, XMRV viremia was reactivated at 9 month confirming the chronicity of the infection." HERE

The authors also noted in their abstract that, "Surprisingly, XMRV infection showed organ specific cell tropism: CD4 T cells in lymphoid organs including the gastrointestinal lamina propia, alveloar macrophages in lung, and epithelial,inerstitial cells in other organs, including the reproductive tract."

In an article for The Wall Street Journal by Amy Dockser Marcus she wrote, "The new monkey study illustrated some of the challenges that continue to perplex scientists.  The animals showed signs of the virus in their blood right after being infected, but very soon afterward, those signs disappeared, making detection very tough.  When monkeys were autopsied, however, organs including the spleen, lungs, and prostate contained XMRV-infected cells."  Dr. Eric Klein, one of the coauthors and a Cleveland-Clinic prostate cancer surgeon said the virus appeared to set up a "genuine chronic infection" within a week, and although this did not prove causation of prostate cancer, the study did "raise important questions about the long-term consequences of XMRV infection." HERE

In their study the authors noted that, "In contrast, antibody responses were clearly elicited after the initial infection (Figure 5), boosted following reinfection, as well as after immunization."  (p. 10)  This finding caused Dr. Vincent Racaniello, a Columbia University professor on virology to note in his weekly blog, "One animal produced virus after immunization; perhaps immune activation results in cycles of virus production." HERE

Much research needs to be done before these questions can be answered, but they are vital questions.  How many mothers out there were plagued by mysterious health problems, like my wife was, in the years prior to the birth of their children?

I commend the researchers for their ground-breaking work and encourage them to continue their pursuit.  Millions of people with chronic fatigue syndrome/ME and possibly millions of families who deal with autism wait on the results of your findings. 

Kent Heckenlively is Contributing Editor to Age of Autism


Concerned mom

Anne - when you were breastfeeding your child it is possible you were providing antibodies to the retrovirus and once you weaned them the child no longer had protection and developed the illness.
This is coming from a mom who has 3 sick with autism...2 with the beginnings of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. I nursed all of them and they also became sick. I am very sick too. need to listen up. There are people who don't want this retrovirus known about until its too late for so many people. There is no doubt in my mind that this retrovirus (and related ones) cause autism. It also causes cancer (breast, prostate, and leukemia). We should not be messing around and wasting time arguing that its really metals. It is preposterous to think that you can "chelated out".
Wake up moms and dads! Many of you are sick too!!!!


Thank You so much for summurazing this article and given all of us (esp me) a link.

Autism Uncle

Kent, Back in the early-mid 1980's in the U.S. there was great promotion and State laws enacted for requiring those about to enter college, or already students, to get a mess of vaccines they had not had as kids (or when they first entered college); thus, to actually receive their college degrees, hundreds of thousands of college graduates got all kinds of immunizations.

It's probably not a coincidence that in the 1980's (even on the cover of Time Magazine) massive numbers of chronic fatigue syndrome cases (aka "The Yuppie Flu") first surfaced - particularly as those affected were virtually all new college graduates.

As to XMRV being pathogenic, as someone said earlier, I don't buy it. My guess it's just an artefact that coincides with the ailments you cite, and only now "discovered" by tech tools now available. And not pathogenic just like the scores of thousands of retroviruses we have all had since time immemorial.

It would be a gigantic mistake to take our eyes off "the vaccinations ball" and be diverted/misled by XMRV.


Benedetta - I think this is the study you are referring to:

'Individual patient and healthy control CSF samples were analyzed directly employing a MS-based label-free quantitative proteomics approach. We found that both groups, and individuals within the groups, could be distinguished from each other and normals based on their specific CSF proteins (p<0.01). CFS (n = 43) had 2,783 non-redundant proteins, nPTLS (n = 25) contained 2,768 proteins, and healthy normals had 2,630 proteins. Preliminary pathway analysis demonstrated that the data could be useful for hypothesis generation on the pathogenetic mechanisms underlying these two related syndromes.'

A lot of questions, no answers.


To Ann, XMRV and breastfeeding, says "Gammaretroviruses can be transmitted vertically and are transmitted in breast milk. The hormone responsiveness of the virus suggests that lactating moms express more XMRV in breast milk. HTLV 1 was endemic in Japan so simply preventing breast feeding reduced HTLV-1 associated neuroimmune disease and cancer by 40% on one generation."

Ann, I would definitely get hold of that Dr Goldberg book if you can, or visit his website and facebook for information, because he has advice on how to prevent recurrence of autism in the next child. His website is , I read "there has not been ONE recurrence in a high risk family within Dr. Goldberg's practice when following very strict preventative pediatrics".

I'm XMRV positive, family has CFS, autism, MS.

Elizabeth S

Not buying it. Calling this virus a new money-maker, head-turner, ring-around-the-rosie game. They love to distract from the cause. Call it what you will, it needs to be chelated out. I respect all of you who believe in it, but this is my opinion.

Balanced Opinion

Reply to "Anonymous" PCR Contamination

This work was funded by the National Institute of Health Research UCL/UCLH
Comprehensive Biomedical Research Centre (GJT), Wellcome Trust Senior Fellowships
WT076608 and WT090940 (GJT), Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute (PK) and the Medical
Research Council (GJT, JAG).


Analysis of XMRV integration sites from human prostate cancer tissues suggests PCR contamination rather than genuine human infection

"We propose that the patient-derived sites are the result of PCR contamination. This observation further undermines the notion that XMRV is a genuine human pathogen."

aidan walsh

xmrv will turn out to be a waste of time and will not be replicated of hawaii have replicated science on their findings of a new ciguetera (epitope)toxin with now a further serious link to low level radiation poisoning...300 patients with a diagnosis of cfs were all postives to their test and they now have proof and published that their findings are the cause of 'auto-immune' diseases...since 2003 the cdc/nih have known about this serious research and to this date have done absolutely nothing...sincerely and always the truth, aidan walsh southampton, u.k. i wish your wife and child a full answer to their suffering...god bless them...i am truly sorry they are not well...


We are still waiting!
I noticed that Fox News recently had something about testing for specfic proteins in the spinal fluid for Fatigue syndrome paients.

The doc that spoke also said that it was more to it than someone that was just tired alot - like anything to do with the muscles - aching muscles, weak muscles and so forth. Well thankgoodness for that bit of information - but the medical people that tagged the name for it in the first place- hummppp - extremely short sighted.

It will be interesting to see how this all pans out, and I sure hope it is soon.
Thankyou so much for keeping us aware of what is going on.


My son never had sleep issues or food allergies until I weaned him. I would strongly urge Ann with fibromyalgia to nurse her next baby -- for as long as possible. (I nursed him till he was 2 1/2, & was pressured by others to quit. If I had known then what I know now, I would definitely have nursed longer.) I do not have fibromyalgia myself, but it runs in my family, & I have neurological issues of my own that I believe are related. Even though I was not in perfect health, my milk definitely seemed to benefit my child.


I too have Fibromyalgia and have a child with autism. I nursed him for 15 months and I'm wondering if I should nurse my next child?--- wondering if that will put him at an increased risk for getting xmrv (if I have it)? I asked my doctor this question and he really didn't have a clue about the issue. I would love feedback from ya' all. I do want to say that anti-viral meds dramatically helped me when I went into my last fibro flare. It makes me go Hmmm.


Great post Kent. It seems like the NIDS model for treatment of autism is gaining new ground with all the science emerging about XMRV. Here's hoping it will lead to more positive progress for our kids.

Cam Pearson

I am one of those moms with fibro and autoimmune issues. I agree that my kids were never candidates for vaccination. I am interested in getting us all tested, but if we test positive, is there a treatment? I have heard a lot about XMRV and what it does to the body, but not a lot about a treatment.


"Amalgam Illness" by Andrew Hall Cutler also discusses similar symptoms associated with dental fillings. Great post.

kathy blanco

We, as in myself mom, and my two kids with autism are infected with XMRV. I believe that vaccines were and are their trigger for this replication. However, while I was pregnant with my son with autism, my first son, I came down with full blown MONO at four months. I believe MONO is also the trigger for XMRV. Any infection really. HHV6 is also activated when hyou have mono, so between that, and XMRV, and possible lyme infection at the time, my kids should have never been vaccinated, ever. How many moms are walking time bombs like this? I know in fact, that a great majority of these moms have those insidious infections causing depression, fibro, CFS, MS, autoimmune issues like hashimotos, hypothyroidism, celiac, you know, the whole gammit of "silent" diseases. If mom has ANY of those, she should never ever vaccinate her children. EVER. I hope people take that take home message!

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