Sunday, 17 November 2013


Well this is an interesting piece of research - here 

 2013 Nov;87(21):11525-37. doi: 10.1128/JVI.01787-13. Epub 2013 Aug 21.

Generation of multiple replication-competent retroviruses through recombination between PreXMRV-1 and PreXMRV-2.


Viral Mutation Section.


We previously identified two novel endogenous murine leukemia virus proviruses, PreXMRV-1 and PreXMRV-2, and showed that they most likely recombined during xenograft passaging of a human prostate tumor in mice to generate xenotropic murine leukemia virus-related virus (XMRV). To determine the recombination potential of PreXMRV-1 and PreXMRV-2, we examined the generation of replication-competent retroviruses (RCRs) over time in a cell culture system. We observed that either virus alone was noninfectious and the RNA transcripts of the viruses were undetectable in the blood and spleen of nude mice that carry them. To determine their potential to generate RCRs through recombination, we transfected PreXMRV-1 and PreXMRV-2 into 293T cells and used the virus produced to infect fresh cells; the presence of reverse transcriptase activity at 10 days postinfection indicated the presence of RCRs. Population sequencing of proviral DNA indicated that all RCRs contained the gag and 5' half of pol from PreXMRV-2 and the long terminal repeat, 3' half of pol (including integrase), and env from PreXMRV-1. All crossovers were within sequences of at least 9 identical nucleotides, and crossovers within each of two selected recombination zones of 415 nucleotides (nt) in the 5' untranslated region and 982 nt in pol were required to generate RCRs. A recombinant with the same genotype as XMRV was not detected, and our analysis indicates that the probability of generating an identical RCR is vanishingly small. In addition, the studies indicate that the process of RCR formation is primarily driven by selection for viable cis and trans elements from the parental proviruses.

I have posted some time ago about XMRV here

Friday, 8 November 2013


A Short Historical Perspective of Lyme Disease in America
Thomas Grier

 Below is a short extract from this article written by Tom Grier to read the full article go to Betty G's post on MD Junction forum here 

'Dr. Ed Masters tried in earnest to get the Lyme experts and the CDC to open their eyes and their minds to see that there was a problem with the current definition of Lyme disease.

Later Dr. Masters also insisted there was a problem with curing his patients with just two weeks of oral antibiotics.

By this time he and other clinicians were throwing everything they had at this disease including intravenous drugs like Rocephin and Vancomycin only to find that patients were often refractory or relapsing months later.

Dr. Masters was diligent in his approach to this disease and in addition to trying to document the tick bites, culture the bacteria and collect patient histories he went one step further.

He saved patient’s blood samples, CSF samples, and skin biopsies, and he also had the patients save the same samples at their own homes in their own freezers. This turned out later to prove to be a wise decision.

Dr. Master’s troubles with the local health department continued for years and culminated in the seizure of hundreds of his “Lyme-patient’s” blood samples and skin biopsies from his office freezer containing patient’s frozen samples.
These seized samples were promptly and without explanation taken by the state and destroyed.

As with other Lyme rebels and mavericks who insisted on taking a pathology perspective about Lyme disease rather than a serology based perspective, Dr. Masters treated Lyme disease aggressively and against the recommended protocols that was used and advocated by Yale Medical and the Infectious Disease Society of America IDSA.

It seemed just a matter of time until he would somehow be sanctioned and silenced, but then Ed Master’s patients stepped forward.

Ed Masters insisted that all of his patients save duplicates of the samples that he stored in his office. The patients would keep them at their own homes.
What was more important was that all patients signed a paper that said the samples were stored in his office were the property of his patients and no one else. That was the legal loop hole that quieted the barking dogs.

No one accepted the patients owned the samples, not even the state of Missouri and taking those samples without their permission and destroying them was a violation of patient’s rights and an invasion of their medical records.

When those patients went to the health department and requested the return of these samples; mysteriously and inexplicably all interest by the Health Department in re-educating Dr. Masters on how to diagnose and treat Lyme patients in Missouri vanished.

Unfortunately Ed masters died at age 63 in 2009 from complications of diabetes. His lectures will be missed both for the insight and humor that Dr. Masters seamlessly wove into all aspects of his life.

Dr. Ed Master’s biggest contribution to Lyme disease will be the understanding that Lyme is not a stand-alone disease, nor a static disease that does not change.

Like its relations that cause Relapsing Fevers, the Lyme spirochete is prone to change, adapt, migrate, and survive.

Twenty years before it was accepted, Dr. Masters suggested that the migration of birds spread ticks north and south but in 1995 this was not accepted.

Now we know that many of those migrating bird species not only harbor several species of ticks, but also are host reservoirs for Borrelia burgdorferi.'


The steps these pioneering doctors have gone to to protect themselves from Health Authorities with their own agenda!

I have posted lectures by Tom Grier in the right hand column of this blog all very enlightening reading.

It begs the question to what lengths our new UK NHS Lyme clinic along with Porton Down will be going to to help the patients.

Monday, 4 November 2013


PUBLIC HEALTH ENGLAND - Health Protection Report

'Multidisciplinary group to develop new UK Lyme disease guidance (page 4 here )

Specialists based at PHE's Rare and Imported Pathogens Laboratory (RIPL), Porton Down, are to coordinate the development of new UK guidance on the diagnosis and treatment of cases of Lyme disease, the tick-borne infection of which there are approximately one thousand laboratory-confirmed cases recorded annually in England and Wales but whose true prevalence is uncertain because of the difficulties associated with diagnosis and the non-specific nature of symptoms associated with chronic sequelae of the disease.

 This was announced at the end of the PHE's first Lyme disease conference held in London on October 9 [1]. The meeting was addressed by experts from RIPL, by clinicians from Wales and Scotland, and by patient organisations.

 National surveillance of Lyme disease in England and Wales began in 1986, since when officially-recorded incidence has increased five-fold; the true level of infections is estimated to be two to three times higher than the confirmed cases. The disease is named after a US location where a cluster of cases among children was investigated in 1975.

 Because risk of infection is mainly associated with outdoor recreational activity in tick-infested areas of dense vegetation, precautionary advice for the public is routinely issued at springtime [2] while recommendations on diagnosis and treatment for health professionals, including for GPs, including references to statements of best practice, have been regularly updated on the legacy HPA website [3].

 Although geographical factors are significant in determining the manifestation of Lyme disease, no official, nationally-agreed guidance has been developed specifically for UK conditions. A multidisciplinary group is therefore to be convened to develop national guidance on diagnosis, investigation and treatment, including treatment of complex cases, Tim Brooks, clinical service director of RIPL, told the conference. Representatives of all medical specialties that see cases at different stages of the disease's progression, including GPs, infectious disease specialists, microbiologists and neurologists, as well as patient groups, would be involved in the guidance development.

 The Countess of Mar, who opened and closed the meeting, applauded the PHE's willingness to involve patient groups in the guidance development. Many patients experiencing “medically unexplained physical symptoms”, as often occurred prior to a Lyme disease diagnosis, resorted to alternative therapies in the meantime, in order to manage their condition. The benefit of the experience of patient support groups would contribute to the resolution of uncertainties that remain about Lyme: in particular, relating to the effectiveness of diagnosis methods, and to differences of opinion about the usefulness of long-term antibiotic treatment, Lady Mar said. It was also in line with the Chief Medical Officer's support for the concept for the “expert patient”.

 Brooks said guidance development was a long-term project in which patient group involvement was important. He hoped the guidance would encompass differential diagnosis and include recommendations, in the form of algorithms, on routes that health professionals should take when testing for and diagnosing the disease, on treatment of suspected cases, and on investigation pathways to be followed for cases shown to be Lyme-negative.

 1. Lyme disease conference, London, 9 October 2013. See “Conference wrap-up: Lyme disease”, Public Health Matters [Health Protection Directorate post], 15 October 2013,
 2. “Lyme disease update and seasonal tick-bite reminder”, HPR 7(20), 17 May 2013.
 3. Legacy HPA website: Infectious diseases › Infections A-Z › Lyme borreliosis/disease › Guidelines/.

Further information can be found here