The chosen lab is Viral Immune Pathology Diagnostics (VIP Dx), in Reno, NV, which is also where the WPI is located. The institute says net proceeds from the test will be dedicated to further research.
For more information about the test kit, go to the VIP Dx website. At this time, this is the only lab test associated with the WPI research, although many companies are advertising XMRV tests online.
Pros & Cons of Testing
While the prospect of a positive test for something -- anything -- has a lot of appeal for those of us with a diagnosis of exclusion, does that mean you should jump at the opportunity to get tested for XMRV? There are good reasons on both sides of the argument.
(The "pros" listed below are relevant only if XMRV is a major cause or diagnostic marker of ME/CFS, and it's too early to know whether it is.)
The Pros include:
- Validation of your illness, for yourself, your family and friends, and maybe your doctors (more on doctors below). However, consider that we don't know how reliable the test is -- you could get a false negative.
- Further data & money for research, which may get us closer to a diagnostic test, better treatments and a vaccine. (Again, this only applies if the WPI researchers are correct about the strong link.)
- Possible directions for your own treatment (more on this below, too).
- Confirmation of the need for precautions, since the retrovirus may be transmissible through bodily fluids.
The Cons include:
- The high cost of the test kit, which ranges from $400 - $650, depending on which test you get.
- The lack of any proven, or even tested, treatments for XMRV and the conditions it may cause.
- The possible lack of acceptance of results from a test that's still considered unproven by the greater medical community. Your doctor may not accept the results, and also may be unwilling to give you untested treatments.
This is one of those decisions that everyone needs to make for their own reasons, based on their own situation. Also, keep in mind that the published XMRV study only looked at ME/CFS, and the possible connection to FMS is extremely preliminary at this point.
Will you get the test? Have you done it already? What was the result? What factors played into your decision, either for or against it? Leave your comments below!
Also See: The XMRV Discovery Series index
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