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Is the CDC Concealing Evidence of XMRV Infection in Children with Autism?

Question mark By Kent Heckenlively, Esq.

I received an interesting series of e-mail exchanges from the mother of a seven-year-old boy with autism and officials from the Centers for Disease Control.  The e-mails concerned her request for information from the CDC about testing for the presence of the XMRV retrovirus in children with autism.  The mother also suffers from chronic fatigue syndrome/ME. 

The e-mail exchange was prompted by the publication of an article by David Kirby in The Huffington Post in December of 2009 in which Dr. Thomas Insel, Director of the National Institute of Mental Health mentioned that his intramural group at the NIH had been looking into the presence of the XMRV retrovirus in children with autism since August of 2009. HERE

The series of e-mail exchanges which took place in November of 2010 are interesting for what is said, and what is not.  Dr. Insel provided a note from Dr. Swedo in respone to the inquiry from this mother.

Dr. Mike Iadorola is now ready to run the XMRV assays on samples from our children with autism (approx 100), typical development (60) and developmental delay (30).  We did send him a batch of approximately 100 samples last summer (from the three groups), almost immediately after the initial report of the positive results in autism.  However, that assay proved to be quite unreliable, yielding positive results in individuals who were known to be negative by more extensive testing.

The mother was confused by the response so sent back the following inquiry.

I am puzzled by the statement "yielding positive results in individuals who were known to be negative by more extensive testing" - as the testing for XMRV in humans is still not standardized, how can one test be considered "more extensive" than another one?  What tests were used to give the original positive results?  Were the samples taken and handled in the same way for these tests that gave the negative results?  How were those initial positive results explained away - contamination?  Cross-reactivity?

I would appreciate if you could share with me what assays were used for negative/retest findings and who developed them?

In response Dr. Mike Iadorola sent back a reply noting that the assay used was called luciferas immunoprecepitation systems and suggested she look at the results from  a recent publication in the journal Molecular Autism by Satterfield/Cooperative Diagnostics.

The mother had her own comments about the negative XMRV/autism study authored by Satterfield/Cooperative Diagnositics.

The study 1. used a synthetic clone, which had never been isolated in blood, to establish the clinical sensitivity of the PCR, 2. did not use culture to raise the titer of the virus, 3. the blood collected for the purposes of this study spent many days in the post in unrefrigerated containers.  None of the methods used, including those used by the CDC lab, were able to detect XMRV in 20 confirmed clinical positive samples - those from which virus had been isolated and sequenced and reported by Lombardi et al and the attached Virulence publication.

The samples obtained prospectively by Satterfield/Cooperative Diagnostics from the moms were subsequently tested by the methods of Lombardi et al and XMRV was detected in >70 when multiple methods were used.  This work was presented at the First International Workshop on XMRV in Bethesda, September 7-8, (2010) and has been submitted for publication.  The fact that neither the methods used by Cooperative Diagnostics or by the CDC could detect XMRV in yet another set of confirmed positive patient samples again confirms that neither set of methodology can in fact detect XMRV in a clinical positive.

Furthermore the assay method used by Cooperative Diagnostics has since been withdrawn from commercial use because it was simply unable to locate wild type virus in anyone - their method never detected one positive sample in humans.  A number of individuals who originally tested negative through Satterfield's commercial test have since been retested through VIPdX (the testing lab utilized by the Whittemore-Peterson Institute) commercial test, many with positive results.

After this e-mail it appears that no meaningful interchange has taken place.

I have e-mailed Drs. Insel, Swedo, and Iadorola to furher clarify their comments and the criticisms made, but have received no reply as of the writing of this article.

The questions raised by this mother of a child with autism and who has chronic fatigue syndrome/ME herself need to be answered.  As I see it, these are the questions which remain:

1.  What was the test initially used which found high numbers of children with autism testing positive for the XMRV virus?  In Dr. Swedo's original note she wrote, At present, XMRV positivity appears to be much more common than the the small initial study suggested.  Considering that the small initial study to which she is apparently referring found XMRV in 82% of the children with autism it would be interesting to know what the CDC's finding was for XMRV infectivity.  (An earlier account had the number at 40%, so it's unclear which number is being referenced.)

2.  What was the sensitivity of these "newly-developed assays" and were they able to detect XMRV in known positives, rather than simply a clone of a section of the virus?  (There is considerable discussion that what's being found is a family of gamma retroviruses and a clone may miss infection by related viruses which differ slightly in their genetic make-up.  HIV taken from various areas of a person with AIDS will show significant variability in their genetic make-up which is why most tests are for the presence of HIV antibodies.)

3.  Why are the protocols established for blood storage, preparation of the sample, and tests  to be utilized, as detailed by the initial study group of the Whittemore-Peterson Institute, the Cleveland Clinic, and the National Cancer Institute as detailed in their October 2009 article in the journal Science not being followed?

4.  If this issue revolved around the simple discovery of a new retrovirus and its association with various human diseases it seems these would be simple questions to answer.  The fact that basic scientific protocols are not being followed raises the possibility these difficulties are political, rather than scientific in nature.

The autism community and the chronic fatigue syndrome/ME community wait for answers to these questions.

For more information on the potential importance of XMRV to autism you can read my previous article HERE.

Kent Heckenlively is Contributing Editor to Age of Autism




While CDC pittles around,

*My husband visits a new pain clinic where we meet other patients (seven in all-- with the same symptoms or near so -perpihal neuropathy, restless leg and all that)
*Even my daughter's eyes look swollen - and she had problems of throwing up for the past month.
*My son broke his diet because it was his birthday and he wanted and had cake and pizza ;and right now he is sitting on the commonde all day.;
My sister-in-law called this morning talking about funeral arrangements for herself, yesterday they told her she has had some mini strokes after suffering a reaction to sedative to put her to sleep so they could do a colonosopsy.

Oh and poor sister-in-law also has Myasthenia gravis! What is Myasthenia gravis, oh just another auto-immune disease or is it??? Really ??? Well we just don't know now do we? Is it an auto immune and no help in sight or - or - or a virus and there is help to be had!

Why don't we know? Because of CDC's foot dragging. CDC I am going to survive and if you foot drag till all my family is dead --- I promise I am going to still be here, and it might be better to confess now,--- do the right thing and save some lives than to confess later. Because if that is what it is - it is going to come out sooner or later, and sooner is so much better.


Thanks for that info Fred and Hilary.

Garbo, a HERV/MuLV recombination is theoretically possible, although not necessary in order to explain simultaneous findings of both in a cell line or a patient (I hope this was your question!?). Exogenous infection/s frequently result in HERVs being transcribed (which then may or may not add to pathology, jury is out). So it would not be unexpected to find HERVs expressed in cell lines or in patients that are infected by exogenous (retro)viruse/s, on the contrary. And yes to vaccine antigens also acting as triggers for both, that is well documented in HIV+ humans and many animal studies (where the viral loads of exogenous retrovirus increases after vaccination).

As to the consequences of ANY exogenous retroviral infection in a developing brain, just have a look at this petition letter, and especially on the list of references on pages 2 and 3 under headings ‘Neurophysiological abnormalities and developmental and behavioral outcomes in animal models of retroviral infection:’ and ‘CNS pathology in murine retroviral infection - Neuroinflammatory responses including activation of astrocytes and microglia.

Hilary Butler.

@ Fred.

Have a look at a pdf in this blog called 1988 abstracts.'s_Desk/post/_It's_all_about_money/

There might be other documents embedded in the blog which can help as well.

You need to look further than vaccines, but also into the cancer "business" as murine retroviruses have been a long standing contaminant in things like monoclonal antibodies, and other drugs used to help "treat" cancer and immunosuppression. And we all know how immunosuppressed people excrete their pathogenic load massively into the environment.

The whole issue about murine virus contamination goes very deep....


To answer my own question:

"The 129X1/SvJ inbred mouse strain originated from crosses established in 1928."

The Journal of Immunology, 2002, 168: 869-874.
129X1/SvJ Mouse Strain Has a Novel Defect in Inflammatory Cell Recruitment1
Peter White2,*, Stephen A. Liebhaber*,† and Nancy E. Cooke3,*,‡

which lists this source for the info:

Threadgill, D. W., D. Yee, A. Matin, J. H. Nadeau, T. Magnuson. 1997. Genealogy of the 129 inbred strains: 129/SvJ is a contaminated inbred strain. Mamm. Genome8:390.


"The Courgnaud paper points to the 129 mouse strain, which is a strain that has been used in the lab since at least the 1950's."

If we could trace the 129 mouse strain back to the 30's when the first ME/CFS outbreak appeared at the Los Angeles City Hospital, that would really seal the deal...


Karin thanks for the great info. Koprowski again! His name has popped up also in regard to the origins of AIDS, and he was also DeFreitas' boss who threw her under the bus when she discovered her retrovirus. Gee, I wonder why.


Anyone have a hypothesis of the possible consequences of lab/vaccine originated XMRV recombination with lab/vaccine originated HERV-K (as found in VAR & MMRII vaxes)? Would the vax antigens act as trigger for either or both, as seems possible from research into HERV-W/MS/schizophrenia? Would it be possible to predict/find a recombinant XMRV/HERV antibody, and if so by what type of testing? Maybe if we're going to walk to raise money, it should be to develop accurate, affordable, targeted lab tests.



Yes, I am thinking of the CROI paper by Coffin,

and also the PNAS paper by Courgnaud that states that 'The glycogag leader of XMRV matches 100% of a polytropic endogenous sequence of the 129 × 1/SvJ laboratory mouse strain'.

The Coffin paper points to a fairly recent creation date of XMRV (would not fit the 1980's time-frame), but it could have happened earlier in similar circumstances with similar mouse strains. That's just conjecture though.

The Courgnaud paper points to the 129 mouse strain, which is a strain that has been used in the lab since at least the 1950's.

Koprowski has published papers on human-mouse hybrid cell work where he uses the 129 strain in the late 1970's. Human-mouse hybrids: what better medium to create human-adapted mutations of mice retroviruses?


Karin, what evidence do you have that XMRV was created in a lab in the 1980's? Are you talking about the CROI study or something else? I need this information for a video I'm doing.


My guess is that at the beginning, the CDC and Big Pharma might have been salivating at the potentially enormous money to be made on anti-retroviral drugs for XMRV.

But soon afterwards, when it became clear that XMRV had a laboratory origin, the focus changed and XMRV had to be burried, because:

1. It would not look good that the origin of the autism epidemic could be in Big Pharma's labs.

2. The vector of XMRV very likely is/was vaccines, since retroviruses are only transmitted through blood and sex, and what else than vaccine gets injected at such a wide scale?

3. Since XMRV affects the immune system, having a large portion of babies infected (from their moms) would mean that major changes would have to be brought to the immunization schedule, in order to prevent activation of the virus. That would mean billions of $$$$ lost for Big Pharma.

4. Last but not least, with XMRV originating in the lab and crossing over to the human population through vaccines starting in the 80's (when the autism epidemic started taking off), this could open another can of worm that the CDC might have hoped to have successfully sealed and burried: the real origin of HIV. Because what animal cell-lines are used in labs for vaccine production? Mouse, and monkey (and chicks). What would the odds be for two retroviruses from two different species used in the lab, to cross to the human population at the same time, unless they both were released through the same mechanism?

"No, no. Too much to lose there. XMRV has to be burried at all costs. Hey wait... how about using the fact that XMRV is a lab creation to our advantage? Let's claim all the positive results are contamination!"

Vince In TX

We, at the CDC, have found a significant statistical correlation of Austism to the presence of the CFS virus. No, wait. Never mind. Move along. Nothing to see here.


So which comes first, the persistent probably foreign viral infection, or the suppressed immune system? Either spiraling way, it looks like vaccination could be at the center of the problem.


CDC= coverup, conceal, deceive.

Looks like they found XMRV but did not like that result.

So they went to a company with a shame blood test that actually collected a drop of blood through the mail for like 400 bucks. This test was quickly pulled of the market.

I have CFS and my kid has autism. When will the government give us the truth and real science for goodness sake.


On the subject of the Brave New World, isn't one of the characters from the book so incredibly well fitting into this real life story:

(description from wiki)
" ... Mustapha Mond - The Resident World Controller of Western Europe, one of only ten World Controllers. He was once an ambitious, young physicist performing illicit research. When his work was discovered, he was given the choice of going into exile or training to become a World Controller. He chose to give up science, and now he censors scientific discoveries and exiles people for unorthodox beliefs. ... "


Their conduct only makes sense if their business is decanting Epsilons rather than preventing disease. O Brave New World which has such wonders in it...

CT teacher

It's no wonder our government is trying to silence Julian Assange and Wikileaks. Just think of the havoc they could create by publishing secret memos and files from our alphabet soup of government agencies, not to mention the Pentagon and CIA and FBI and other arms of the govt that operate under the radar....hidden from public scrutiny!

Melissa Christopher

I sure wish that we could find and motivate some very good hackers to open the CDC secrets and dump them onto the web for all to see... afterwards they could open the doors to Big Pharma and all their stinking friends... reveal to the world all those nasty secrets and the ways they have covered their butts.... heads would roll


i continue to be amazed that the people who are so busy "covering up" are not concerned they may be found guilty of conspiracy in the near future.


Thank you Kent for this informative article.

To sum it up:

The CDC found autistic children positive for XMRV, but since this wasn't the result they wanted to see, they partnered with a lab whom they were sure would not find it.

These all-negative results were published, and big fanfare was made on the fact that 'autism is not associated with XMRV'. Case closed.

The CDC, Center for Disaster Cover-up, has once again demonstrated that it excels at demolishing any attempt to find the root cause of the autism epidemic.

In this era of great medical progress and achievements, there has to be a powerful force at work hiding the truth, or we would not be having 1 in 100 child affected with autism and not a clue of what might be causing this syndrome and how to treat it.

This is just so disgusting. But what can we do to change this?

John Stone

Good luck Kent,

The same conundrum posed to us over and again. How do we make people answer? What sanction is there against them if they cheat?

Evidently rules and ethics only bind little people.


Alison MacNeil

"The fact that basic scientific protocols are not being followed raises the possibility these difficulties are political, rather than scientific in nature."

-and therein lies the whole enchilada...


Free Samples are offered for a limited time so when they are posted please take advantage of the offer before it is gone. Look online for "123 Get Samples" where I was able to get healthy product samples.

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