No evidence of xenotropic murine leukemia virus-related virus infection in Brazilian multiply transfused patients with sickle cell disease and beta-thalassemia major
Slavov, S.N.; Otaguiri, K.K.; Macedo, M.D.; Rocha-Júnior, M.íc.C.; Silva-Pinto, A.C.; Kashima, S.; Covas, D.T.
New Microbiologica 37(4): 543-550
Although xenotropic murine leukemia virus-related virus (XMRV) has been regarded as a laboratory contaminant, it remains one of the most controversial viruses. The objective of the study was to determine if XMRV is present in 44 patients with beta-thalassemia major, 48 with sickle cell disease, and 89 volunteer blood donors. After RNA/ DNA extraction from plasma/buffy coat the samples were screened for XMRV sequences by conserved nested GAG primers. None of the RNA samples showed a positive result. Surprisingly, four DNA samples obtained from blood donors were positive for XMRV provirus. The subsequent phylogenetic analysis revealed that these sequences are identical to the positive control (murine leukemia retrovirus) and are probably consistent with laboratory contamination. XMRV infection (provirus and viral RNA) was absent in multiply transfused patients and volunteer blood donors. The positive result obtained from some blood donors probably reflects laboratory contamination. We believe that XMRV does not pose risk to blood transfusion.