BACKGROUND: Since the identification of xenotropic murine leukemia virus–related virus (XMRV) in prostate cancer patients in 2006 and in chronic fatigue syndrome patients in 2009, conflicting findings have been reported regarding its etiologic role in human diseases and prevalence in general populations. In this study, we screened both plasma and peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMNCs) collected in Africa from blood donors and human immunodeficiency virus Type 1 (HIV-1)-infected individuals to gain evidence of XMRV infection in this geographic region.
STUDY DESIGN AND METHODS: A total of 199 plasma samples, 19 PBMNC samples, and 50 culture supernatants from PBMNCs of blood donors from Cameroon found to be infected with HIV-1 and HIV-1 patients from Uganda were screened for XMRV infection using a sensitive nested polymerase chain reaction (PCR) or reverse transcription (RT)-PCR assay.
RESULTS: Using highly sensitive nested PCR or RT-PCR and real-time PCR assays capable of detecting at least 10 copies of XMRV plasmid DNA per reaction, none of the 268 samples tested were found to be XMRV DNA or RNA positive.
CONCLUSIONS: Our results failed to demonstrate the presence of XMRV infection in African blood donors or individuals infected with HIV-1. More studies are needed to understand the prevalence, epidemiology, and geographic distribution of XMRV infection worldwide.