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Researchers dismiss CFS virus claim

Claims by a US study that a retrovirus may be the cause of chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) have been disputed by British scientists.

In October 2009, US experts said a virus called XMRV could be the cause of CFS, also known as myalgic encephalomyelitis or ME.

Their breakthrough findings were published in the journal Science.

However, researchers from Imperial College London have now said their new study shows no evidence of the virus being linked to CFS.

Their findings have also dashed hopes that the disease could be treated with antiretroviral drugs, which several laboratories in the USA have started offering.

Author and Professor Myra McClure, from Imperial College London, said: "We are confident that our results show there is no link between XMRV and chronic fatigue syndrome, at least in the UK.

"The US study had some dramatic results that implied people with the illness could be treated with antiretrovirals.

"Our recommendation to people with CFS would be not to change their treatment regime, because our results suggest that antiretrovirals would not be an effective treatment for the condition."

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