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Genetically Modifying Humans Via Antibiotics? Something You Need To Know

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lisaA new kind of antibiotic has been developed by researchers at Oregon State University.  The new antibiotics are called PPMOs, which stand for peptide-conjugated phosphorodiamidate morpholino oligomers.  They are “a synthetic analog of DNA or RNA that has the ability to silence the expression of specific genes.” (1) The way that PPMO antibiotics will work is to, “specifically target the underlying genes of a bacterium.”  In plain English, PPMOs will genetically modify bacteria.

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This may not sound like a horrible thing on initial glance.  Bacteria are generally thought of as evil (soap commercials have conditioned us all), something to fight because some bacteria can make people sick and even kill them if their body is overwhelmed by “bad” bacteria.  However, bacteria and the other single-celled organisms that make up the human microbiome are intimate parts of each human being.  Per the Human Microbiome Project:

The healthy adult body hosts ten times as many microbial cells as human cells, including bacteria, archaea, viruses, and eukaryotic microbes resident on nearly every body surface. The metagenome carried collectively by these microbial communities dwarfs the human genome in size, and their influences on normal development, diet and obesity, immunity, and disease are under active research. (2)

The average 200 pound human body contains 6 pounds of microbiome organisms, including several billion bacteria (3).  These bacteria act symbiotically with us, helping to digest food, extract vitamins and other nutrients from food, regulate the immune system and even  contribute to each individual’s personality.  Per an article published in Molecular Psychology, “CNS neurotransmission can be profoundly disturbed by the absence of a normal gut microbiota.” (4)  Multiple neurochemicals are produced by gut bacteria, including 95% of the serotonin in each human body (5).  Studies of mice have shown that behavioral changes can be triggered by changes in the gut bacteria and it has been observed that people with Crohn’s Disease and other GI disorders often suffer from anxiety and depression.  The health of each person’s microbiome is intimately connected to both their physical and the mental health.

The bacteria that compose our microbiome work so synergistically with our human cells that the difference between “us” and “the bacteria” is difficult to decipher.  Where do “we” begin and “they” end?  If all of the bacteria in a person’s microbiome were killed off, that person would die.  Bacteria are an intimate and important part of “us.”  In genetically modifying “them,” are we genetically modifying “us?”  How could genetically modified bacteria affect the balance of the human microbiome?  How could they affect the bodily systems that the microbiome controls?  How could a GM bacteria adversely affect human health including personality and behavior?

One of many other things to consider is that mitochondria, the energy centers of our cells, are very similar in structure and design to bacteria. (6)  Mitochondrial DNA is also much more vulnerable to environmental toxins than the rest of the human DNA. (7)

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Could PPMOs (or other drugs that genetically modify bacteria) modify human mitochondria?  If so, what are the consequences of having genetically modified mitochondria?  One consequence is that humans truly would be genetically modified.  Perhaps that should be taken into consideration before developing drugs that genetically modify bacteria.

There are thousands of medical and ethical questions that should be asked about the development of drugs that genetically modify bacteria.  Sadly, I suspect that many people will look the other way, assuming that PPMOs are just another antibiotic that are as innocuous as penicillin, rather than asking the really difficult questions that should be asked before our mitochondrial DNA is permanently and irreversibly altered.  I suspect that the questions about whether or not antibiotics that alter the human microbiome should be created or not will not be asked though, because human mitochondrial DNA has been being altered and damaged by a certain class of antibiotics, fluoroquinolones, for years without anyone saying a peep.

Genetic Modification via Antibiotics is Already Occurring

Fluoroquinolone antibiotics, more popularly known as Cipro (Ciprofloxacin), Levaquin (Levofloxacin), Avelox (Moxifloxacin), Floxin (Ofloxacin) and a few other less commonly used ones, are topoisomerase interrupters.  They unravel bacterial DNA and lead to apoptosis, programmed cell death.  This video explains how they work:

The chemical backbone of fluroquinolone antibiotics, nalidixic acid, was developed in 1962 by George Lesher. (8)  They became popular starting in the 1980s when pharmaceutical companies pressured the FDA to accept them as a “first line of defense” antibiotic despite the fact that they had  shown to be toxic to mammalian cells.  They increased in popularity after the 2001 anthrax scare.  They are used to treat urinary tract infections, sinus infections, bronchial infections, strep throat, etc. despite the fact that the side effects include psychosis (9) and destruction of every tendon in the body. A side-effect that is lightly referred to as “tendinitis” on the warning label.  (A more complete list of effects of fluoroquinolones can be found on www.ciproispoison.com.  The person who wrote that list of things that happened to him as a result of taking Cipro was a happy, healthy, employed 31 year old when he took Cipro.  He is now disabled.)

Multiple studies have shown that quinolones/fluoroquinolones adduct to bacterial DNA. (10)(11) This means that they attach to and change DNA, that the DNA has altered molecules hooked onto it and that all duplicate versions of the cells have been altered.  An example of another chemical that adducts to DNA is Agent Orange.

Some DNA tests performed on people who have experienced severe adverse reactions to fluoroquinolone antibiotics have shown that the quinolone/fluoroquinolone molecules have adducted to their human DNA, attaching to and changing their DNA into perpetuity.  (As cells replicate, the altered DNA replicates too.)  A DNA Adduct Mass Spectrogram Analysis showed that the quinolone/fluoroquinolone molecules had attached to every cell in the subjects’ bodies, not just the bacteria that make up their microbiome; the drug adducted to their DNA, to THEM.

They, along with thousands of other people who have had an adverse reaction to a fluoroquinolone, have been genetically modified by an antibiotic.

A large portion of those who have been genetically modified by a fluoroquinolone antibiotic have been subjected to irreversible damage to their DNA for no sensible reason at all.  Fluoroquinolone antibiotics are given out to treat benign infections like sinus and urinary tract infections, that can be treated with other, safer antibiotics.  A 2011 study (12) found that 39% of patients given fluoroquinolone antibiotics were given them unnecessarily (and the necessity of them was determined without it being taken into consideration that DNA damage can be done by these drugs as this fact is not acknowledged, despite the peer reviewed studies noted above.)

26.9 million prescriptions for fluoroquinolone antibiotics were dispensed in America in 2011 alone (13).  Similarly massive numbers of prescriptions of these drugs have been dispensed each year since Bayer patented Cipro in 1983.  Humanity has not stopped existing since these DNA modifying drugs were introduced to the market, but before you find that to be reassuring, the following should be noted.

  1. An article in the September, 2013 issue of Nature entitled “Topoisomerases facilitate transcription of long genes linked to autism” (14) noted that, “Our data suggest that chemicals or genetic mutations that impair topoisomerases, and possibly other components of the transcription elongation machinery that interface with topoisomerases, have the potential to profoundly affect the expression of long ASD candidate genes.”  Fluoroquinolone antibiotics impair topoisomerases.  A post about this is on Collective Evolution – http://www.collective-evolution.com/2013/09/18/a-horrifying-cause-of-autism-dna-damage-from-synthetic-antibiotics
  2. Anthraquinone was found in the subject who underwent The DNA testing.  Anthraquinone causes an inflammatory process within the body and causes pain, burning, and hurting sensations, a condition that is often confused with fibromyalgia. (15)
  3. Fluoroquinolone antibiotics have been shown to damage mitochondria (16)(17)(18) and “Damage to mitochondria is now understood to play a role in the pathogenesis of a wide range of seemingly unrelated disorders such as schizophrenia, bipolar disease, dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, epilepsy, migraine headaches, strokes, neuropathic pain, Parkinson’s disease, ataxia, transient ischemic attack, cardiomyopathy, coronary artery disease, chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, retinitis pigmentosa, diabetes, hepatitis C, and primary biliary cirrhosis.” (19)

So, if you’re wondering what happens when humans are genetically modified, the experiment is being conducted as you read this post.  Since fluoroquinolone antibiotics have been popularized, rates of autism, schizophrenia, bipolar disease, dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, epilepsy, migraine headaches, strokes, neuropathic pain, Parkinson’s disease, ataxia, transient ischemic attack, cardiomyopathy, coronary artery disease, chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, retinitis pigmentosa, diabetes, hepatitis C, and primary biliary cirrhosis have risen substantially.

Perhaps the question of the intelligence of altering human DNA with antibiotics can be questioned before PPMOs are introduced to the market, as opposed to 30+ years afterward, as is the case with fluoroquinolone antibiotics.  It would show wisdom and desire for sustainability as a species.  Unfortunately, neither wisdom nor sustainability are valued at the moment and I suspect that the travesty of people being genetically altered by fluoroquinolones will continue and that the travesty of people being altered by PPMOs will begin.

Post Script:

  1. If enough people gathered together, got their DNA tested, got those test results interpreted by a Toxicologist, and appropriate research was published on the results, this atrocity could stop.  Please note that both Bayer (producer of Cipro and Avelox) and Johnson and Johnson (producer of Levaquin), and even the generic producers of these drugs, have very deep pockets.
  2. The author’s blog is www.floxiehope.com.

Sources:

  1. Drug Discovery and Development, “Beyond Antibiotics: New Approach to Bacterial Infections” published online on 10/16/13 – http://www.dddmag.com/news/2013/10/beyond-antibiotics-new-approach-bacterial-infections?et_cid=3541647&et_rid=45519727&location=top
  2. PLOS Collections, “Table of Contents: The Human Microbiome Project Collection”  http://www.ploscollections.org/article/browseIssue.action?issue=info:doi/10.1371/issue.pcol.v01.i13
  3. Neergaard, Lauran, “Human Microbiome Project: 10,000 Species Of Microbes In And On Our Bodies,” Huffpost Healthy Living, 06/13/2012  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/13/human-microbiome-project-100-trillion-bacteria_n_1594430.html
  4. Mol Psychiatry. 2013 Jun;18(6):666-73. doi: 10.1038/mp.2012.77. Epub 2012 Jun 12. The microbiome-gut-brain axis during early life regulates the hippocampal serotonergic system in a sex-dependent manner. Clarke G, Grenham S, Scully P, Fitzgerald P, Moloney RD, Shanahan F, Dinan TG, Cryan JF. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22688187
  5. Carpenter, Siri.  “That Gut Feeling: With a sophisticated neural network transmitting messages from trillions of bacteria, the brain in your gut exerts a powerful influence over the one in your head, new research suggests.”  Monitor on Psychology.  American Psychological Association.  September 2012, Vol 43, No. 8 Print version: page 50   http://www.apa.org/monitor/2012/09/gut-feeling.aspx
  6. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mitochondria
  7. John Neustadt and Steve R. Pieczenik.  “Medication-induced mitochondrial damage and disease.”  Mol. Nutr. Food Res. 2008,52, 780 – 788 http://psychrights.org/Research/Digest/NLPs/DrugsCauseMitochondrialDamage.pdf
  8. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fluoroquinolone_antibiotic
  9. Nagaraja Moorthy, N. Raghavendra, and P. N. Venkatarathnamma.  “Levofloxacin-induced acute psychosis.”  Indian J Psychiatry. 2008 Jan-Mar; 50(1): 57–58. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2745871/
  10.  Arkady B. Khodursky and Nicholas R. Cozzarelli.  “The Mechanism of Inhibition of Topoisomerase IV by Quinolone Antibacterials”  The Journal of Biological Chemistry.  August 5, 1998.   http://www.jbc.org/content/273/42/27668.full
  11. G. PALLJ*, S. VALISENA*, G. CIARROCCHI, B. GATTO, AND M. PALUMBO.  “Quinolone binding to DNA is mediated by magnesium ions.”  Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA Vol. 89, pp. 9671-9675, October 1992 Biochemistry.  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC50194/pdf/pnas01094-0315.pdf
  12. Nicole L Werner, Michelle T Hecker, Ajay K Sethi and Curtis J Donskey.  “Unnecessary use of fluoroquinolone antibiotics in hospitalized patients.” BMC Infectious Diseases.  Volume 11.  http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-2334/11/187
  13.  “FDA Drug Safety Communication: FDA requires label changes to warn of risk for possibly permanent nerve damage from antibacterial fluoroquinolone drugs taken by mouth or by injection” 08/15/2013 http://www.fda.gov/downloads/Drugs/DrugSafety/UCM365078.pdf
  14. Ian F. King, Chandri N. Yandava, Angela M. Mabb,  Jack S. Hsiao, Hsien-Sung Huang, Brandon L. Pearson, J. Mauro Calabrese, Joshua Starmer, Joel S. Parker, Terry Magnuson,           Stormy J. Chamberlain, Benjamin D. Philpot & Mark J. Zylka.  “Topoisomerases facilitate transcription of long genes linked to autism.”  Nature 501, 58–62 (05 September 2013) doi:10.1038/nature12504 Received 17 January 2013 Accepted 24 July 2013 Published online 28 August 2013 http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v501/n7465/full/nature12504.html
  15. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anthraquinone
  16. “Dodging Antibiotic Side Effects.”  July 3, 2013. http://wyss.harvard.edu/viewpressrelease/117/
  17. “Pinpointing How Antibiotics Work” April 19, 2012.  MIT Media Relations.  http://web.mit.edu/press/2012/pinpointing-how-antibiotics-work.html
  18. J W Lawrence, D C Claire, V Weissig and T C Rowe.  “Delayed cytotoxicity and cleavage of mitochondrial DNA in ciprofloxacin-treated mammalian cells.”  Molecular Pharmacology November 1996 vol. 50 no. 5 1178-1188 http://m.molpharm.aspetjournals.org/content/50/5/1178.abstract
  19. John Neustadt and Steve R. Pieczenik.  “Medication-induced mitochondrial damage and disease.”  Mol. Nutr. Food Res. 2008,52, 780 – 788 http://psychrights.org/Research/Digest/NLPs/DrugsCauseMitochondrialDamage.pdf

Free David Wilcock Screening: Disclosure & The Fall of the Cabal

We interviewed David about what is happening within the cabal and disclosure. He shared some incredible insight that is insanely relevant to today.

So far, the response to this interview has been off the charts as people are calling it the most concise update of what's happening in our world today.

Watch the interview here.
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Nature Valley Ad Shows The Down Side Of Children Addicted To Technology

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Technology has impacted most of our lives in a really big way. We use it daily for everything we do pretty much. Kids today, unlike previous generations, use technology more than ever and spend much less time in nature.

  • Reflect On:

    How much is too much technology for young and developing minds? Is it time to reevaluate our children's relationship with technology and get them back into nature?

Technology has become a staple in most of our lives, really, could you imagine life without it? In the video posted below, Nature Valley asks 3 generations what it was that they did for fun as a kid, the answers from the youngest generation may or may not surprise you, but is it time to cut back on the technology and bring kids back to nature?

Technology is not bad per se, that isn’t the discussion here. This is about how we use it.

Before technology, children would look to nature for entertainment. They would play outside on the lawn, go sledding, build forts, and use their imagination to create their own entertainment. Nowadays it’s all too easy for kids to get sucked into technology, there are video games, tablets, computers, cell phones and television, all of which provide a type of escape from the real world. Although, there are many ways that technology is and has been used for good in the world, is the disconnect that it is causing children and adults to part from nature causing more harm?

With the rise of mental disorders and illnesses, is it possible that the answer to these issues is simply to get kids back into nature, more time with self, using their brains to build things, be creative and connect to the energy from the Earth? We already know how effective a simple walk or hike in nature is and how they both can literally change our brains. Nature appears to be much more important than we generally give it credit for.

In my own experience, disconnecting from technology and going camping on my own proved to be a very cathartic and healing experience for me. I’ve come to realize that although being immersed in nature regularly does have a lot of benefits, but even just making time for it at all can cause a positive impact. For many of us who live in cities, with the constant bombardment of noise and of course EMF frequencies etc., just disconnecting for a short period can make a huge difference.

The following video is a brilliant ad from Nature Valley, check it out.

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It’s easy to get emotional watching something like this as it shows just how far removed the newer generations are from what has been most natural to children for centuries, simply playing in nature. The children are essentially self-proclaimed tech addicts and get their entertainment by playing video games, watching videos or tv shows, texting etc. Is it time to go back to the basics and start evaluating how detrimental too much technology can be on young and developing brains? You can read more about this issue here, Is Your Child Struggling From Nature-Deficit Disorder?

Is it up to the parents to ensure they are setting proper boundaries with the amount of time their children are allowed to use technology? Or is this the future and something we should simply let happen as a natural part of evolution?

Much Love

Free David Wilcock Screening: Disclosure & The Fall of the Cabal

We interviewed David about what is happening within the cabal and disclosure. He shared some incredible insight that is insanely relevant to today.

So far, the response to this interview has been off the charts as people are calling it the most concise update of what's happening in our world today.

Watch the interview here.
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Awareness

6 Proven Ways to Cleanse Your Liver & Release Pent Up Anger

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    In Chinese Medicine our liver is directly connected to anger and unfortunately, we live in a world where our liver is regularly taxed by toxic chemicals. Thankfully there is plenty that you can do without medication to keep this vital organ healthy!

  • Reflect On:

    What toxins are you regularly exposed to and what steps are you currently taking to combat them?

A toxic liver can lead to anger. In Chinese medicine, our biggest detox organ – our liver – is the organ connected to anger. When we work at changing our lifestyles and daily habits, we begin to see it having a positive effect on our mood as well as general health.

When toxicity mounts we have a more difficult time controlling or letting go of our angry feelings. Toxic chemicals accumulate in our bodies because we live in a toxic world. We microwave in plastic, we cook food in Tephlon coated pans, we smoke, we take medication, and eat fried and processed foods.

These food-like products contain toxic chemical preservatives, glyphosate; GMOs and pesticides. Ingesting poison daily results in everything from immune deficiency, mood disorders, lowered mental performance, and even life-threatening cancer.

So, besides avoiding many of the contributors of liver toxicity – what can we do?

1. Eat less added sugar & address possible yeast overgrowth in the gut

Yeast can cause fermentation of food in place of digestion and cause bloating and gas. It can contribute to “leaky gut syndrome” – thus in turn can lead to the production of toxins that may affect the brain and nervous system. Yeast overgrowth can produce alcohol as its byproduct, acetaldehyde, giving us a “hangover” feeling. It can also lead to liver damage, and it prevents the proper detoxification of other pollutants, increasing the toxicity of other toxins.

2. Support the liver with botanicals

Plant medicine like Milk Thistle and Dandelion Root can help cleanse the liver. Both extracts are known to be pretty safe and well tolerated, and toxic or adverse effects observed in the reviewed clinical trials seem to be minimal. Only those with a ragweed, iodine or latex allergy should be cautious with dandelion. (Learn more about milk thistle)

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3. Drink organic aloe vera juice

High quality; raw organic aloe vera can be a phenomenal digestive aid. It seals the gut wall, aids in digestion, has anti-inflammatory properties, helps the immune system, and detoxifies the liver, skin, and colon.

4. Cook with more turmeric & black pepper to help the body absorb nutrients better

Black pepper contains a compound called piperine, which increases the bioavailability of food by decreasing activity in the intestinal tract and inhibiting the metabolism of certain enzymes. Better still, cook with lots of turmeric and black pepper together. The combination helps the body absorb more curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric.

This ingredient can heal gut wall permeability due to its amazing anti-inflammatory properties. It also aids in digestion, strengthens the immune system, improves asthma, heals wounds, prevents the progression of memory loss, controls diabetes, improves liver function, lowers cholesterol, and fights cancer. (Note: A great supplement for this that I recommend for is Liver Health)

5. Incorporate liver cleansing foods into your diet

Incorporate liver cleansing foods such as green leafy veggies, avocados, apples, garlic, olive oil, citrus fruit, beets, and cruciferous vegetables into your weekly diet.

6. See An Acupuncturist

Used for thousands of years, acupuncture has been used to detox and balance the liver meridians to reduce anger and other emotional and psychiatric issues.  Simple needless acupressure is often used on children.


Learn more about my family’s healing journey (including everything that has worked for me and many of my clients) in my book Healing Without Hurting. And to receive more info on how you and your family can overcome ADHD, apraxia, anxiety and more without medication SIGN UP HERE.

Free David Wilcock Screening: Disclosure & The Fall of the Cabal

We interviewed David about what is happening within the cabal and disclosure. He shared some incredible insight that is insanely relevant to today.

So far, the response to this interview has been off the charts as people are calling it the most concise update of what's happening in our world today.

Watch the interview here.
Continue Reading

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1 Out of Every 9 Children Have Serious Adverse Reactions To The DTaP Vaccine: New Statistics

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    A study from the CDC, among many others, have found that 1 in 9 children have serious adverse reactions to the DTaP Vaccine, and yet they are labelling this as not a concern...

  • Reflect On:

    Why have so many studies come out showing that the science is not clear on vaccine safety, yet they are heavily marketed as one of the safest "medications" out there? Why is it Taboo to question vaccine safety?

Until the 1990s, the vaccine administered to children for diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis protection was the DTP vaccine, one of the first combination vaccines ever licensed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). However, as a “whole-cell” vaccine (meaning that it contained the entire Bordetella pertussis organism rather than purified components), DTP had a significant downside—including published safety concerns dating back to the 1930s and widespread reports of neurological damage emanating from both the United States and other countries. By 1991, the Institute of Medicine cautiously reported that the evidence was “consistent with a possible causal relation between DTP vaccine and acute encephalopathy” [brain disease].

Characterized pertussis prevention as ‘an unresolved problem,’ nothing the ‘progressive increase’ in pertussis incidence after introduction of the acellular vaccines and the need for even more boosters

To pacify a concerned public, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advised a phase-out of the whole-cell vaccine around 1991, while promoting an “acellular” version called DTaP (diphtheria, tetanus and acellular pertussis). By 1997, the switch had taken place for all five doses in the series, recommended for infants and children at two, four, six and 15-18 months and 4-6 years. In the two decades since the changeover, however, the DTaP vaccine has been plagued by embarrassingly low effectiveness. A 2018 article characterized pertussis prevention as “an unresolved problem,” noting the “progressive increase” in pertussis incidence after the introduction of the acellular vaccines and the need for ever more boosters. Another recent commentary flatly stated that “pertussis is…not under control in any country” and that new types of pertussis vaccines are needed.

Nonetheless, on the safety front, health authorities have regularly praised the DTaP vaccines as offering a safer alternative than their whole-cell predecessors. Is this reputation for safety well-deserved? CDC researchers writing in June 2018 in Pediatrics seem to think so—but a closer reading of their findings suggests otherwise.

Examining DTaP’s track record

For their study, the CDC researchers assessed over two decades’ worth of data (1991–2016) from the CDC- and FDA-administered passive surveillance system called VAERS (Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System), examining adverse events (AEs) reported to VAERS following vaccination with one of five currently licensed DTaP vaccines (see table). The five vaccines included two DTaP-only vaccines (approved for the full five-dose series of shots) and three combination vaccines (approved for some portion of the DTaP series). The combination formulations in question included DTaP plus hepatitis B vaccine (HBV), inactivated polio vaccine (IPV) and/or Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) vaccine.

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The researchers used several methods to consider DTaP vaccination risks, including 1) compiling all “serious” and “non-serious” adverse events reported to VAERS in association with the five vaccines over the designated time period; 2) clinically reviewing all deaths reported to VAERS following DTaP vaccination; 3) reviewing a subset (5%) of “non-death serious reports”; and 4) running an automated search of reported anaphylaxis following DTaP vaccination.

Not so safe

The analysis of VAERS reports identified tens of thousands of AEs (N=50,157) in the aftermath of a DTaP-containing vaccine. (A single VAERS report may include more than one AE, so the adverse event categories are not mutually exclusive.) VAERS, by the federal government’s own admission, captures only about 1% of AEs; thus, the 50,000-plus AEs probably vastly underrepresent the number of real-world DTaP-related vaccine injuries.

The study’s results illustrate the heavy burden of vaccines to which children in the U.S. are subjected. For about 88% of the VAERS reports analyzed, children received the DTaP vaccine concurrently with one or more other vaccines, even though the five types of DTaP vaccine in and of themselves already constitute potent combinations. Researchers who have looked at the number of vaccines administered at well-child visits have pointed out that American infants receive more vaccines in their first year than infants anywhere in the world.

…many vaccines (including DTaP) are administered in bundles at health care visits around two and four months—exactly when nine out of ten SIDS deaths occur.

Roughly one in nine (11.2%) of the reported AEs were coded as serious, and 15% of all serious AEs were deaths (844/5,627). (If one were to average these deaths over the 26 years from 1991 through 2016, this would represent over 32 deaths annually.) Of note, the investigators’ perusal of death certificates, autopsy reports and medical records showed that the reported cause for nearly half of the deaths (48.3%) was sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), nearly always in children under six months of age. Although the researchers dismiss the possibility of a causal relationship between vaccination and SIDS, evidence from other corners is strongly suggestive of just such a link. In fact, it strains credulity to deny a plausible connection: many vaccines (including DTaP) are administered in bundles at health care visits around two and four months—exactly when nine out of ten SIDS deaths occur.

Serious but non-fatal AEs cited in 10% to 35% of all VAERS reports included systemic symptoms such as pyrexia (fever), vomiting, seizures/convulsions, diarrhea, lethargy and hypotonia (muscle weakness). Anaphylaxis occurred far less frequently, but most reported anaphylactic reactions arose quickly—within 30 minutes of vaccination. Seizures were the fourth most common serious AE reported. Other studies have detected a heightened risk of febrile seizures when children receive DTaP simultaneously with other vaccines. Febrile seizures are not benign (as once thought), which makes the frequency of post-DTaP seizures concerning.

The authors do not explain why they counted pyrexia as both a serious and nonserious AE, but it accounted for one in five of the latter. As a potential sign of drug allergy and an indicator of a “systemic inflammatory response to a stimulus such as infection,” pyrexia and its prominence are noteworthy. Back in 2004, other CDC researchers commented on the difficulty of ascertaining “the true importance of fever as an [adverse event following immunization]” and noted a lack of clarity regarding “how to interpret fever data derived from vaccine safety trials or immunization safety surveillance.”

What the study leaves out

Although the CDC authors noted that their analysis excluded Quadracel, the most recently approved combination DTaP-IPV vaccine (licensed in 2015), they curiously do not explain why they omitted several other licensed DTaP vaccines that were in widespread use during the time period in question:

  • The Tripedia vaccine (manufactured by Connaught, which through a series of mergers became Aventis Pasteur and later Sanofi Pasteur) was approved as a fourth and fifth DTaP dose in 1992, 1996 and 2000; in 2001, Aventis Pasteur reformulated Tripedia and the FDA approved it for all five doses.
  • Acel-Imune (manufactured by the now-defunct Lederle Laboratories) was approved for the fourth and fifth DTaP doses in 1991 and, in 1996, for the full five-dose series.
  • The Certiva DTaP vaccine (made by North American Vaccine Inc., which was acquired in 2000 by Baxter International Inc.) was licensed in 1998 for doses one through five.

The authors also neglect to mention that all five DTaP vaccines included in their review contain one or more neurotoxic aluminum adjuvants, along with formaldehyde and polysorbate 80, a stabilizer for which information on potential chronic health effects is “not available.” The Tripedia vaccine that the study excluded featured both aluminum and the mercury-containing preservative thimerosal. Adverse events reported during post-approval use of Tripedia included “idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura, SIDS, anaphylactic reaction, cellulitis, autism, convulsion/grand mal convulsion, encephalopathy, hypotonia, neuropathy, somnolence and apnea.” By excluding these other acellular DTaP vaccines, the CDC study underestimates the magnitude of DTaP-related adverse reactions still further.

Weighing the risks

The CDC authors wrap up their assessment of DTaP vaccine safety with the boilerplate pronouncement that their analysis “did not identify any new or unexpected safety issues.” Parents might disagree, wondering whether it makes sense to expose their child to a not-insignificant risk of serious DTaP-related injury when the risk of diphtheria is virtually non-existent in the U.S. (zero cases in 2016) and the risk of tetanus is likewise minuscule. (Tetanus, in any event, is non-communicable.)

… pertussis incidence has steadily increased (not decreased) in the U.S. since 1980, despite high vaccine coverage.

Evaluating the risks of pertussis infection versus pertussis vaccination in different age groups is somewhat more complex but requires admitting up front that pertussis incidence has steadily increased (not decreased) in the U.S. since 1980, despite high vaccine coverage. Discussing the problem of waning immunity, a 2012 study reported that “after the fifth dose of DTaP, the odds of acquiring pertussis increased by an average of 42% per year.” In fact, the track record for whole-cell and acellular pertussis-containing vaccines shows that both are fraught with problems. Back in 1993, researchers writing in the New England Journal of Medicine observed that a pertussis epidemic in Cincinnati had “occurred primarily among children who had been appropriately immunized” with the whole-cell vaccine. The same pattern of pertussis outbreaks in fully vaccinated populations has occurred with the acellular vaccines. A related but underacknowledged problem is the role of vaccinated individuals as asymptomatic carriers and reservoirs of infection for vulnerable infants. Finally, some researchers have suggested that pertussis vaccination may result “in selection of more virulent strains that are more efficiently transmitted by previously primed hosts.” Specifically, the acellular vaccines only contain B. pertussis antigens “that hold little or no efficacy against B. parapertussis,” which is another causative agent of pertussis infection; researchers concluded in 2010 that acellular vaccines “interfere with the optimal clearance of B. parapertussis” and may “create hosts more susceptible to B. parapertussis infection.”

Whether one focuses on safety or effectiveness, it is apparent that simplistic slogans and Pollyanna attitudes are no help in evaluating vaccine risks and benefits. Ultimately, it should be up to parents—not CDC researchers biased against a fair consideration of risks—to make their own informed vaccine decisions.

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