Potential New Virus Identified in MS

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Potential New Virus Identified in MS

Postby Dunmann » Wed May 31, 2006 10:01 am

Potential Animal (Zoonotic) Virus Identified in Patients with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Multiple Sclerosis and Epilepsy

NEEDHAM, Mass., May 31 /U.S. Newswire/ -- Recent independent scientific research funded by the National CFIDS Foundation, Inc. (NCF) of Needham, MA provided preliminary confirmation of a new virus identified in patients with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. The Foundation's medical research dovetails with that completed to date by Cryptic Afflictions, LLC (1), a private company.

Dr. Steven J. Robbins, virologist and Chief Executive Officer of Cryptic Afflictions, LLC has discovered a major neuropathogen identified as an RNA virus designated as Cryptovirus. Substantial clinical and molecular evidence indicates that this virus is involved in the development of neurological disorders that include Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), also known as Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (M.E.) by the
World Health Organization, Multiple Sclerosis (M.S.) and Idiopathic Epilepsy of unknown cause.

According to the company, "This previously undetected virus appears to be of significant importance to researchers looking for a cure to Multiple Sclerosis and many other neurological illnesses. Antibodies to the newly discovered virus were found in the cerebrospinal fluid and blood of over 90 percent of the patients tested with Multiple Sclerosis. It is believed that this newly discovered virus may prove to be responsible for a host of neurological disorders. Tests are currently being prepared for tissue samples of lesions within the brains of patients with Multiple Sclerosis. This will be the final round of tests before approaching the FDA for approval of the diagnostic tests."

Dr. Robbins' evidence includes the presence of virus-specific antibodies in the serum and cerebrospinal fluid of patients suffering from these disorders, the ability of the virus to cause virtually identical disease in experimentally-infected animals, and nucleotide sequence data that indicates that the virus is pandemic and represents a single virus species much like measles.

A recently published medical journal article suggests that Cryptovirus is most similiar to Parainfluenza Virus-5, a rubulavirus in the paramyxovirus family. Another rubulavirus related to Cryptovirus and Parainfluenza Virus-5, that has gained national attention for its large outbreak, is the mumps virus. Rubulavirus infections have been associated with encephalitis, meningitis, orchitis, inflammation of the testicles or ovaries, spontaneous abortion, and deafness.

The NCF has conducted its own preliminary research into the potential role of Cryptovirus and Parainfluenza Virus-5 in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Professor Alan Cocchetto, Medical Director for the Foundation stated, "Our own funded research first confirmed the lack of a vital protein, known as Stat-1, in the blood of patients with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Stat-1 plays an indispensable role in immunity. Without this protein, patients are unable to effectively fight viral and bacterial infections. Thus, the next logical question to be answered was 'Could a virus be causing this Stat-1 depletion?' " Cocchetto continued, "Parainfluenza Virus-5 is a virus that had to be seriously considered as a possible piece of this medical puzzle because it directly targets and destroys the Stat-1 protein." Gail Kansky, President of the NCF stated, "Once we determined the status of Stat-1 in patient blood samples, we knew that we had to look for possible evidence of Parainfluenza Virus-5 infection. It was during this phase of our own research that we actually learned of Dr. Steven Robbins' discovery of Cryptovirus specific antibody reactivity in patients with CFS." Dr. Robbins had tested fifty- six serum specimens from patients who had been diagnosed with CFS along with eleven matching cerebrospinal fluid samples obtained from physicians in Brisbane and Southeast Queensland. Dr. Robbins had determined that 96 percent of the blood samples and 91 percent of the spinal fluid samples tested positively for Cryptovirus specific antibodies in these CFS patients.

The National CFIDS Foundation's own research began to dovetail with that of Dr. Robbins. Scientists funded by the Foundation performed numerous tests for Parainfluenza Virus-5 that included antibody as well as PCR specific probes. Antibody testing provided some initial hints, however a PCR specific probe picked up the infection in a former patient of David S. Bell, M.D. and Paul R. Cheney, Ph.D., M.D., both considered well known specialists in the field of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Kansky commented, "Though our funded research continues in diagnostic testing, our findings have served to highlight the important work of

Dr. Robbins and the role of Cryptovirus and Parainfluenza Virus-5 infection in CFS."

NCF scientists utilized the NIH Genbank database to find the nucleotide sequence for a specific viral protein of Cryptovirus that matched 100 percent to the porcine (swine) strain of Parainfluenza Virus-5 known as the SER strain. In 1994, scientists at Bayer AG in Germany first isolated the SER strain from swine with Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome. "This may represent a zoonotic process since zoonotic viruses are those that can be transmitted between animals and people" stated Cocchetto. Kansky commented, "Here we have what appears to be the same viral strain of Parainfluenza Virus-5 on two continents and in two different populations, swine and humans. Given that the NCF found Parainfluenza Virus-5 in one CFS patient in the United States certainly raises the bar." The Foundation is currently funding further research.

The
National Institutes of Health (NIH) has several ongoing grants in the Parainfluenza Virus-5 field. Currently, however, there is only one U.S. scientist specifically funded for research on the SER strain of Parainfluenza Virus-5 by the NIH.

---

(1) "Limina Biotechnologies, Inc. is a recently formed subsidiary of Global Medical Technologies, Inc. that was established for the purpose of merging Cryptic Afflictions LLC and Global Medical Technologies, Inc. It is the intent of management to spin off this newly formed corporation once the merger is completed so Limina can raise capital through its own IPO," according to the company's website, http://www.globalmedicaltech.com.

------

Founded in 1997, the National CFIDS Foundation has grown to become the largest, all-volunteer patient organization of its type in the United States. The Foundation has no paid employees and is funded solely by individual donations for the primary purpose to fund medical research into the cause and treatment and/or cure of Chronic Fatigue Immune Dysfunction Syndrome (CFIDS/CFS).

http://www.usnewswire.com/
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Postby bromley » Wed May 31, 2006 10:50 am

Dunmann,

You beat me by five minutes with this post - you are now promoted to the rank of 'Master Poster', along with Dignan and myself.

I'm quite excited by this story and have e-mailed it to my good neuro to see if he thinks it has any credence.

I aslo received an e-mail from Professor Ebers who is looking at genetics and MS, and seems pretty hopeful of a breakthrough soon. Given that this disease appears to be a combination of genes and a environmental factor - maybe this virus might turn out to be the environmental factor (he says hopefully).

Fingers crossed that his pans out.

Ian

PS I think I previously noted that one of the neuros at the EBV / MS conference said that some CFS cases turn into MS (CSF is another disease where a virus was suspected as being the cause).
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Postby Dunmann » Wed May 31, 2006 11:35 am

Ian,

Wow, Master Poster! I am honored. But I must decline the rank as I still have not broken the 100 posting barrier. I just got lucky with this one.

Are we seeing a real trend towards finding the cause? Even with a breakthrough are we still not 10-15 years before a fix? Certainly encouraging none the less.

I would like to know if these antibodies (as well as EBV) still remain in the patients that have had their immune systems rebooted (bone marrow transplantation)? If they are absent would this not solidify the theories? Considering that these patients are not longer experiencing any disease activity.
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Exciting news

Postby gwa » Wed May 31, 2006 12:41 pm

This virus possibility is very exciting. I have put my money on MS being caused by a virus for years because it was the only thing that made sense to me.

Now I want to find out why pigs and people both have the virus and how it is spread between the two species.

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Postby flipflopper » Wed May 31, 2006 1:11 pm

Dunmann wrote:I would like to know if these antibodies (as well as EBV) still remain in the patients that have had their immune systems rebooted (bone marrow transplantation)? If they are absent would this not solidify the theories? Considering that these patients are not longer experiencing any disease activity.





If we assume that ms is caused by a virus, I have always wondered the following in people who undergo a procedure such as a bone marrow transplant. If ms is caused by a virus (and if that virus stays in their bodies), isn't there a risk that they could get ms again even if they no longer progress during a certain period of time after the bone marrow transplant?

I guess observing people who undergo such procedures for a number of years can answer a lot of questions.
Last edited by flipflopper on Wed May 31, 2006 5:10 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Postby bromley » Wed May 31, 2006 1:11 pm

Dunmann,

You post was topic 999 - so I hope it has significance.

With MS things are never ever simple - if this virus was involved it may be activated by another virus such as EBV etc. It's interesting that atreatment such as Daclizimab appears to work because it increases the number of Killer T cells / T Reg cells which attack viruses.

At least it's another lead in this mystery disease.

Not sure on the pig front - as Jewish people get MS I don't think it can be due to eating pork. I've never been near a live pig.

Hopefully a step in the right direction. It might turn out to be the infectious agent they have not been able to identify. As Professor Kurtzske said in a talk to the UK MS Society:

The migration and epidemic findings are compatible with the view that clinical MS is the rare late result of a unique, but unknown, widespread, persistent infection, which is transmissible only between age 13 to 26 or so, and which is mostly acquired at earliest exposure between age 11 and 45, followed by a long latent or incubation period between acquisition and clinical onset.


If Cyprovirus is the culprit in some cases, not sure what they can do - anti-virals?

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pigs

Postby gwa » Wed May 31, 2006 2:33 pm

Ian,

The pig connection is curious because there are many Jews with MS and I am sure most of them have never eaten or been near a pig. I have not been around pigs either except for an occassional pork chop.

This research will be interesting to follow.

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Postby Lyon » Wed May 31, 2006 4:13 pm

oo
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Postby marcstck » Wed May 31, 2006 4:27 pm

And lots of Jews eat pork these days... Here in the states, the majority of Jews (this one included) do no keep kosher...
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Postby dignan » Wed May 31, 2006 4:40 pm

Interesting stuff. Just to show the speed of things, this post from Sept 04 said they would be doing further studies on cryptovirus and here we are 20 months later with some good progress. In the MS world where questions seem to go unanswered forever, this isn't bad.

http://www.thisisms.com/ftopict-420.html

Oh, and Bromley, the latest poster rankings from the International Association of Multiple Sclerosis Website Forums has Dunmann moving into the #1 spot, just ahead of you. Hate to be the bearer of bad news and all...
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Postby bromley » Thu Jun 01, 2006 3:41 am

I've forwarded the article to my good neuro and he is looking into it. Good neuro is also meeting up with Dr Freedman soon and I asked him to ask Dr F about EBV in patients (before and after bone marrow transplantation).

By coincidence I did come across an article some months ago which linked MS to something called swine fever. On reflection, I think I have been near pigs as I take my kids to a farm. But I'm sure the pig issue is a red herring.

Dignan - I have conducted another poll and 97% of users consider that my postings are the most useful and rank me as number 1. Many were suspicious that you made most of your pipeline drugs up. When Arron started the site he offered $1,000 to the first poster to get to 1,000. That money is as good as mine!
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Postby viper498 » Thu Jun 01, 2006 6:20 am

Promising information. I hope it materializes in to the real cause behind at least some/most cases of MS. How would you rid one of an RNA-Virus?
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Postby Dunmann » Thu Jun 01, 2006 7:29 am

Some RNA viruses are controlled with vaccinations/immunizations others cannot be controlled as of yet. Examples that can be controlled are Influenza, Mumps, Polio, Rabies and SARS (which they are developing an immunization). HIV is also a RNA virus, which as we know has not been controlled yet. So theoretically they could develop an immunization for the Zoonotic virus.
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diagnosis

Postby gwa » Thu Jun 01, 2006 9:14 am

This virus being in our blood should equate to a fairly rapid test for MS. That would help a lot of people get out of limboland and on with their diagnosis quest.

Hopefully, developing a vaccine would not take as long as it did for the polio or mumps vaccines. The lack of one for HIV is not encouraging however.

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Postby CureOrBust » Fri Jun 02, 2006 3:23 am

Dunmann wrote:HIV is also a RNA virus, which as we know has not been controlled yet

I saw a science TV show a couple of weeks ago that featured a new technology, that from my limited understanding, was using RNA to create a material/cell that could target & damage the DNA of specific virus. They were specifically aiming their research at AIDS, and said that they had around 5 of 7 patients with AIDS (i am guessing to differentiate from HIV+) that had lived beyond 5 years, which was supposedly not that common. It sounded a long way off, but interesting.

Specifically on this virus, i didnt read the % of non-MS controls that had this virus?
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