This post is the conclusion in a series taken from the article by Keith Wassung entitled “Challenging the theory of Artificial Immunity”. This series focuses on Challenging the theory of Artificial Immunity, Theory and Practice of Vaccines, and Conclusion: Cause of Long Term Immunity. This week’s post looks at the Conclusion: Cause of Long Term Immunity.
Recent research by Dr. Rafi Ahmed and his colleagues has shown that the stable maintenance of total memory cells may be dictated by the principle of homeostasis. Models suggest that the total number of cells in the immune system is constant and the long-term maintenance of cellular immunity may be regulated by competition for space by memory cells. As an individual is exposed to new pathogens, some memory cells may need to make way for new ones. Since the total number of memory cells can be very large, the immune system is normally capable of maintaining immunity to many pathogens at once. The impact of new pathogens could govern the loss of existing memory cells and might explain the loss of memory to certain viruses. 17
-Emory Vaccine Research Center
The ability to remember and respond to invading organisms, even years later, is one of the fundamental features of the immune system. Traditionally, it was thought that memory cells were developed after initial exposures, but new research demonstrates that multiple exposures are required to develop T cell memory.
Scientists figure out how immune system remembers
Reuters-media: Scientists have figured out how the immune system “remembers” enemies it has encountered in the past. A report in the journal Science shows that so-called memory T cells are extremely slow learners. Scientists knew that one particular type of T cells, known as CD8 cells, could either become vicious attackers that immediately kill invaders, or could become “memory” cells that help to quickly flag invaders if they ever show up again. Scientists at the University of Chicago found that the process by which memory cells are made are excruciatingly slow. They found that several generations of the cells must be exposed to the troublemaker before some of them can become memory T cells specific for it. “This finding suggests that the basic approach to vaccines is not likely to produce the desired result,” said Phillip Rickhardt, one of the researchers. 18
The notion that vaccines create a life-long immunity that is equal or superior to natural immunity is not even claimed in medical literature. They only claim that vaccines reduce the symptoms of diseases.
“The practice of DPT vaccination has played a major role in markedly reducing the incidence rates of cases from each of those diseases.” 19
“It is true that natural infection almost always causes better immunity than vaccines. Whereas immunity from disease often follows a single, natural infection, immunity from vaccines occurs only after several doses.” 20
-Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
“One problem with inactivated influenza vaccines is that the immunity generated is only partial. In the presence of a strong adjuvant, antigens can stimulate B cells and induce a good humoral response, however, there is little cell-mediated immunity generated by a killed product. This means that the difference between disease and protection or at least a more rapid recovery from disease. Also, the immunity provided by a killed product is short lived.” 21
-Center for Biologics Laboratory
“The antigens contained in many injectable vaccines will not produce an immune response sufficient enough to confer protection against infection. Of the 23 vaccines currently in routine use, 20 are delivered by injection and stimulate only systemic immunity.” 22
If it cannot be demonstrated that vaccines create lifelong immunity by strengthening the immune system, then they must achieve their objective of reducing case numbers of disease by actually weakening or suppressing the normal function of the immune response.
The idea that vaccines work by subtle immune suppression is receiving rapid support within the scientific and research community.
It is dangerously misleading and indeed the exact opposite of the truth to claim that a vaccine makes us “immune’ or protects us against an acute disease, if in fact it only drives the disease deeper into the interior and causes us to harbor it chronically, with the result that our responses to it become progressively weaker and show less and less tendency to heal or resolve themselves spontaneously. 23
-Dr. Richard Moskowitz, Dissent in Medicine
Over time, the term vaccine has evolved to include all preparations used to generate protective immunity to microbial pathogens or their toxins. More recently, the definition of vaccine has been further expanded to include antigenic materials used to tolerate or turn off antigen-specific immune responses to prevent or treat immune mediated diseases. A variety of approaches are being pursued to induce T cell tolerance. These include blocking the activation of T cells by antigen presenting cells focusing on the interactions of the T cell receptor (TCR) with peptides presented by the major histocompatibility complex (MHC). Other strategies target costimulatory pathways in T cells, or the interaction of cell surface adhesion molecules and their counter ligands. Some of these experimental therapies are currently being developed as vaccines. 24
-American Autoimmune Research Association
“The later part of the 20th century has witnessed an unprecedented rise in the number of individuals with impaired immunity. There is considerable experience with most vaccines in those with impaired immunity.” 25
-Clinical Microbiology Review
Recent vaccine research and development has focused on recombinant DNA vaccines as a way of duplicating natural immunity, but the findings demonstrate that they work by suppressing the immune system as well.
Could DNA Vaccines Undermine Immunity?
DNA vaccines consist of a bit of DNA containing a gene for a marker from the pathogen. The idea is that when the DNA is injected into the muscle tissue, it works its way into cells where it is incorporated into cellular DNA. The body “learns” to recognize the pathogen and mount a strong defense to it in the future. But research published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation shows that instead of being immunized to the protein encoded by a DNA vaccine, it actually learns to tolerate it. In fact, when later injected with the same protein, no antibodies were developed at all. This finding raises the possibility that a DNA vaccine could convert someone who normally would be able to clear a pathogen-albeit they might get sick first, to someone who would be unable to clear it at all. 26
The paradigm shift in health care is gradually moving from a symptom based model, to one in which the function, performance and innate healing potential of the human body is maximized. With this change in understanding comes the concept that not only are many diseases normal and natural, they may actually benefit the body by strengthening the immune system.
“Through the process of developing and then conquering infection, the child gets rid of acquired toxins and poisons from the body and receives a boost to the immune system.” 27
-Healing Arts Press
“Whenever the immune system successfully deals with an infection, it emerges from the experience stronger and better able to confront similar threats in the future. Our immune system develops in combat. If at the first sign of infection, you always jump in with antibiotics, you do not give the immune system a chance to grow stronger.” 28
-Andrew Weil, M.D.
Several studies have shown that the incidence of asthma and allergies tend to rise in countries where childhood immunization rates are high. This has prompted researchers to suggest that certain infections may trigger immune changes that protect children from developing asthma and allergies later. Preliminary studies have shown a protective effect of measles and infections with intestinal parasites. 29
With the rise of vaccines and antibiotics, people in developed countries have experienced fewer childhood diseases than ever before and scientists suspect that an immune system with no serious work to do is likely to become a renegade army, attacking whatever it encounters. 30
In a study of 58 children under the age of 16 with insulin dependent diabetes and 172 non-diabetic controls, infection during the 1st year of life was associated with a reduction in diabetic risk. Infection during the first year of life may have a protective effect by modifying the lymphocytic response to subsequent immunological challenges. A link with decreasing early exposure to common infectious diseases could account for the increased risk of diabetes over the past thirty years. 31
-Archives of Childhood Disease
17) Korschun H. “Causes of Long Term Immunity” The Emory Report, Mar. 22, 1999 Volume 51, no. 24
18) Reuters News Media, “Scientists figure out how immune system remembers, March 12, 1999
19) Connaught Labs, Vaccine Warning Insert, 2000
20) Childrens Hospital of Philadelphia, www.vaccine.chop.edu
21) Foley P. “Development and use of a highly attenuated vaccine virus” Center for Biologics, 1999
22) Choang K Avant Immunotherapeutics
23) Moskowitz R. Dissent in Medicine Contemporary Books, 1985 p.142
24) Plaut, M. “Vaccines for Immunological Disease”
25) Pirofski L. “Use of licensed vaccines for active immunization of the immunocompromised host” ClinicalMicrobiology Review Jan 1998
26) “Could DNA Vaccines Undermine Immunity” Science, Dec 20, 1996
27) Hayfield, R. The Family Homeopath Healing Arts Press, 1994
28) Weil, A. Spontaneous Healing Random House, 1995
29) Raloff, J. “Childhood Vaccinations” Science News Jan 25, 1997
30) Underwood, A. “Why Ebonie cant breathe” Newsweek, May 26, 1997
310 Phillips, D. “Early infection and subsequent insulin dependant diabetes” Archive of Childhood Diseases, Nov, 1997 77; 384-385