In reading the book “Plague” I doubt anyone would ever sense anything but the utmost respect for researcher Judy Mikovits who is a stickler for detail, leaving no rock unturned so that her conclusions would be undeniable. In the research she reported in her Science magazine article she had found evidence of XMRV retrovirus infection in 67% of ME/CFS patients and in 4% of the general population.
Follow up studies by other researchers did not confirm her discovery but it turns out they didn’t follow her precise methods and they didn’t screen the patients to weed out those with chronic fatigue from other causes such as heavy metal toxicity.
Judy was the forerunner/expert on the subject but her advice on how to do follow up studies was not followed. As you read the book you get a glimpse into the world of Science that leaves you with the impression that too many scientists are into ego and group-think instead of only being interested in finding out the truth.
Quoted from Plague:
“The argument Mikovits and her team made was that their paper was not simply “a survey of Chronic-Fatigue-Syndrome using PCR or a search for antibodies to XMRV proteins” in a poorly defined group of patients. They had used several different assays for the presence of XMRV nucleic acids, proteins, and infectious virus.”
“Mikovits believed the association between XMRV and ME/CFS may have been even stronger than her teams work indicated. She wanted to study ME/CFS exposure to the virus more broadly. In an unpublished investigation, she and her colleagues analyzed blood cells in about 330 ME/CFS patients and found that more than 95 percent had evidence of XMRV infection”