Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The HGRV pandemic

I will call it the HGRV pandemic.1 Surprisingly, a web search yields zero meaningful results, so it won't be confused with anything else.2

It means a hypothesized, possibly already widespread pandemic of infection with HGRV, which stands for Human Gamma Retro Virus (human gammaretrovirus).

For newcomers, the best comparison is to HIV.3 Retroviruses do not go away like the flu. They insert themselves into your DNA.

Many people feel uncomfortable with the exploratory nature of hypotheses. If you are one, you will find it safer to click elsewhere before this page eats you alive.

As always, send me any updates or corrections via email.

List of possible diseases

(Here is a link to this spot)

The following diseases are possibly associated with the HGRV pandemic.

  1. ALS
    • amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
  2. Alzheimer's disease
  3. ASD (autism)
    • autism spectrum disorder (ASD)
  4. autoimmune disease
  5. autonomic neuropathy
  6. bipolar disorder
  7. breast cancer
  8. cancer
  9. cardiac diastolic dysfunction
  10. cervical cancer
  11. clonal T-cell rearrangement
    • clonal gd T-cell expansion
  12. dementia
  13. diabetes
  14. fibromyalgia
    • fibromyalgia (atypical)
  15. glioblastoma
  16. Gulf War syndrome
  17. hematologic malignancies, including lymphomas and leukemias
    • chronic lymphocytic leukemia
    • chronic lymphocytic leukemia lymphoma (CLL)
    • leukemia and related disorders
    • lymphoma
    • lymphoma (other)
    • mantle cell lymphoma (MCL)
  18. ITP (Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura)
  19. lupus
  20. Lyme disease
    • chronic Lyme disease
  21. ME/CFS
    • CFS-like illness
    • chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS)
  22. mold-related illness
  23. multiple sclerosis (MS)
    • (atypical) multiple sclerosis
    • atypical multiple sclerosis
  24. myelodysplastic diseases
  25. neural disease
  26. neurodegenerative disease
  27. neuroimmune disease
  28. Niemann-Pick type C disease
  29. other malignancies in tissues that respond to steroid hormones, such as cervix, endometrium, adrenal glands etc.
  30. Parkinson's Disease
  31. peripheral neuropathy
  32. precancer conditions such as cervical and anal dysplasias, other dysplasias, severe dysplasias, hyperplasias, atypical hyperplasias, and neoplasias
  33. prostate cancer
  34. signs and/or symptoms of neuroimmune disease or lymphoma
  35. thymoma

This list is compiled from 17 publically available sources, specifically comprising research papers, research talks, academic posters, research-related websites, patent applications by known researchers, and reports by knowledgeable physicians, that were published from October, 2009 to the present. Items are deliberately edited only minimally to avoid error. See the appendix for notes on how far I went to not edit.

Some diseases are possibly surmises from other knowledge about the diseases and some have been tested. Of those that have been tested, sample sizes and rates positive vary.

Among the striking results are chronic Lyme at 100% (something like 65/65) and breast cancer at 25% infection.

Background

First it was just me, then it was a ghetto, now it is a pandemic. But it is possible that this progression goes one step farther. The Kafka Pandemic, as in the denigrated disease, is possibly one pandemic within a larger one.

The Kafka Pandemic is already on the same order of magnitude as AIDS. For example, it is twice the size of AIDS in the USA.4 The number of people who are sick with it right now is just a few million less than the population of Australia.

We don't know the size of the HGRV pandemic, as very little epidemiology has been done. It is, however, possibly large. If you want to motivate this in a rough way, use a web browser. Look up 6.8% of the world's population in a list of population sizes. That is a rate found in blood donors.5

You will find that it is, in principle, possibly larger than the population of the USA and smaller only than China and India. For all we know, we might be talking about well over 400 million people who need answers now.

If this superpandemic6 is real, it could use a seat at the UN Security Council.7

This is obviously very quick and dirty. Tests vary. The global infection rate is unknown. To my knowledge nobody is really looking to find it. Lo et al. described sequences. We need to add sick people. Subtract for lower numbers found in several places. Add for insensitive tests. Many developing countries might or might not be very infected. There is probably geographic variation as with HIV and HTLV. There is a possibility of about 10% in at least one area in California.

There is a lot we do not know. Maybe we should look into the possibility — just a possibility, don't get all worked up now — of an infectious, pathogenic HGRV pandemic and address that possbility with the urgency and serious big resources that it deserves.

Samuel

P.S. Suppose there is no HGRV pandemic. In such a case I will donate that much more to the only institute that is studying the Kafka Pandemic. You cannot do better.

P.P.S. There is politics. If you deliberately delay good science, know that we do not forget these things. People were sent to prison because they did not take HIV/AIDS seriously. The potential legal consequences will be greater this time (for several reasons).

Appendix

Disease 101 for scientists and physicians

Here is a rough description to get you oriented. I'll talk more about this in later posts.

It is serious, multisystem, and neuroimmune. It affects many parts of the body and often has full-blown-AIDS-like and MS-like aspects. Many are bedridden or housebound. Millions are in constant pain. Many die.

The International Consensus Criteria (ICC — specifically: Carruthers et al. 2011, J Intern Med. 2011 Jul 20. DOI: 10.1111/ j.1365-2796.2011.02428.x) is an overview. Also note biological markers in Lombardi et al. 2009 (Science) and followup papers by the same authors.

If you are new, pay close attention to the multisystem nature of the disease described by ICC.

An important thing to remember is that many people are far sicker than ICC describes. For research it is recommended to use ICC as a minimum for now.

You need exactly that paper, or a future nondenialist explicit derivative from it.

A word to the wise: use phlebotomists who have cars. As in: drives to people who are bedridden and housebound. Some advocates will point you to people who cannot use computers.

Confusion and conflation

You are not doing science if you use the wrong definition.

Without fail, every term that has been widely used for The Kafka Pandemic has also been used to describe completely unrelated conditions. That is in boldface because it is a trap for newcomer scientists.

A literature search will always confuse more than it will help unless you find out what definition was used and how it was used.

Most official definitions in most countries that I know of describe unrelated conditions. Even though they use the same names, they are not definitions of the same thing.

Some definitions using the same name exclude people who have serious disease. Can you predict the results?

Disease terminology

An unambiguous and widely used term for the Kafka Pandemic does not exist.

Some retrovirus terminology

I'm just going to list some terms in case it gives you a rough sense of the terminological landscape.

Some terms in the approximate semantic area of HGRV include XMRV, PMRV, HMRV, MLV, murine leukemia virus, mouse leukemia virus, MuLV, retrovirus, gammaretrovirus, type C retrovirus, HIV-like virus, simple retrovirus, XAND, XRD, X, P, X variant, P variant, xenotropic, polytropic, X/PMV, MLV-related virus, Mulv-related virus, replication-competent retrovirus, RCR, biosafety level, HGRAD, GRV, MRV, MLRV, MLV-R, MLLV, PM-MLV, P-MLX, XMLV, and X-MLV.

Sometimes people mix up "retro" with "related". There are also misspellings like HRGV, HRMV, XRMV, PRMV, and the like.


NID stands for Neuro-Immune Disease. I like this term. Some say neuro-immune, others neuroimmune.

I think HGRAD stands for Human Gamma Retrovirus Associated Disease, but don't quote me. Some keep the X for all HGRV, even non-xenotropic variants. "X" is journo-genic. However, this is incorrect. To include other potential neuroimmune retroviruses we might need to coin a new term, such as HNRV for Human Neuroimmune RetroVirus.


I don't know what specifically defines variants, strains, quasispecies, and subspecies for retroviruses; whether the differences are widely consensus; or even if these are all used in retrovirology. Recombination might make it more complicated. Do reading frames matter? I'd be interested in knowing.

I think "family" for a collection of variants is fairly informal. It is of course also used as a taxon (family Retroviridae). It gets more complicated with different taxonomy systems.

Cautions on list of diseases

Light editing. I deliberately grouped things that look similar even if they are not similar. I didn't change any names, even ones that are inherently misleading in the extreme or political epithets/slurs. There can still be errors; do not rely on this. Some items are transcribed.

In principle one or two items might be claimed to be related to HGRV in some way without HGRV necessarily being present. At this time I cannot read the patent application in question in that detail to determine if that is what is being claimed. I'm assuming it's likely to be HGRV detection.

I have only listed ideas from researchers and knowledgeable physicians.

There is also Fischer et al.on lung secretions, and a paper on Sjogren's I haven't investigated yet.

Obviously, patent applications are legal documents, not science documents, and there might or might not be legal reasons to list broadly. We don't know publically yet what science backs most of those claims, and we are looking forward to detailed publication in biology journals.

Association has not been published (fully) in many of these and not everybody with a disease will necessarily be infected. There are subtleties with naming, context, and qualifications that are not represented. More science needs to be done.

Please use caution, for both scientific and political reasons, in describing these.

Remember, to list good ideas, you don't need a double-blind, placebo-controlled, 100,000-subject study — and you most definitely do not need official approval.

Expansion of list of diseases

It would be useful to expand this list. Besides the obvious (better annotation for the existing references), it might be useful to add columns and links. For example, we might include things like these:

  1. prevalence estimates for each disease (annotated with how measured, including very strict cohort description)
  2. proportion positive for each disease and controls (annotated with how and what measured)
  3. correlation of each disease with other diseases (for example, in families. Annotated with any laboratory, clinical, or epidemiological support and reasons why we think there is a correlation, including anecdotal)

Fine-grained detail is not a problem on the web. Collaboration software (such as wiki software) can make it easier. With enough numbers, we can start doing geography. Google Maps would be useful.8

There are excellent biology databases out there. Do they have the data nicely presented already?

A central place for links to ongoing studies worldwide and study recruitment worldwide would also be useful.

Notes on sources for list

I have sources with excerpts for the diseases listed, but they are too long to include here as it gets confusing where this post ends. If there are questions and there aren't reasons not to, I will post them.

Notes

Acknowledgements:

I want to thank my reviewers. Special thanks to Meg Carlson, who gathered many of the sources. Without that, I couldn't have created the list.

Footnotes:

1 Previously I called it The Even Larger Pandemic.

2 Until somebody tries to confuse it. "XMRV pandemic" and "XMRV epidemic" both have at least 100. "HMRV pandemic", "HMRV epidemic", and "HGRV epidemic" all have zero. "HGRV pandemic" has 21, all of which seem to be coincidental usage, such as tags that happen to be next to each other.

3 Perhaps HTLV for people in endemic areas.

4 The figures I was able to get without much searching are 400,000 AIDS in USA, 800,000 HIV in USA, unknown AIDS worldwide, 38 million HIV worldwide; 17 million TKP worldwide, 1 million TKP in the USA. Not to be relied on.

5 Lo et al. 2010.

6 Hyperpandemic, metapandemic, The Even Larger Pandemic.

7 Of far more relevance are extradition treaties and international courts very well tailored to handle cases of those who are responsible for current delay but whose governments fail to prosecute for any reason.

8 It might also be useful to have a place (such as a wiki) to organize highly concise and relevant information about MAIDS, KoRV, GALV, FeLV, SFFV, and the like, so people don't need to go surfing all over for similarity, transmission characteristics, etc. The idea is to contain only the stuff we need for basic understanding and links to reliable biology sources for more detail.

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