By Teresa Conrick
I doubt very much that Edward Jenner, in the late 1790’s, gave much thought to the microbiome of those first patients he inoculated with his “cowpox” vaccine. Fast forward to 2014 and the same may be true of the billion dollar companies making vaccines today. How is that possible? What is the microbiome? -- “A microbiome is "the ecological community of commensal, symbiotic, and pathogenic microorganisms that literally share our body space." This term was originally coined by Joshua Lederberg, who argued the importance of microorganisms inhabiting the human body in health and disease. Many scientific articles distinguish "microbiome" and "microbiota" to describe either the collective genomes of the microorganisms that reside in an environmental niche or the microorganisms themselves, respectively. However by the original definitions these terms are largely synonymous.”
It is becoming one of the most important pieces to health in our modern society though much is still unknown, yet more and more research is showing the microbiome to be a litmus test in health, for example:
Date: November 13, 2013
Source: Mayo Clinic
Summary: Research has shown that the intestinal microbiome plays a large role in the development of type 1 diabetes……….These researchers demonstrated that mice fed a gluten-free diet had a dramatically reduced incidence of Type 1 diabetes. These mice were non-obese diabetic mice, or mice that grow to develop Type 1 diabetes. The gluten-free diet worked to protect the mice against Type 1 diabetes. When the researchers added gluten back into the diets of mice it reversed the protective effect the gluten free diet had provided. There also was a measurable impact of the gluten on the bacterial flora of the mice that might be one way in which gluten could affect the risk for diabetes.
Very interesting and shows how important the gut and bacterial flora are in maintaining health. Gluten is an important factor in autism and many children just can’t eat it as painful symptoms and negative behaviors begin.
We are seeing epidemic numbers of immune and autoimmune diseases. Autism is one of them and I will add in that PANDAS, Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated with Streptococcal Infections and PANS, Pediatric Acute-onset Neuropsychiatric Syndrome, are also climbing these past years. They share characteristics and many families have both autism and PANDAS/PANS, diagnosed children. Some of those children have both diagnoses, like my daughter, Megan. Why?
In the definition above, "microbiome" and "microbiota" are “largely synonymous”, so let me introduce a recent study that reflects how the microbiome and microbiota can be involved in vaccination.
This study is on the CDC website:
Volume 20, Number 2—February 2014
Seven-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV-7) is effective against vaccine serotype disease and carriage. Nevertheless, shifts in colonization and disease toward nonvaccine serotypes and other potential pathogens have been described. To understand the extent of these shifts, we analyzed nasopharyngeal microbial profiles of 97 PCV-7–vaccinated infants and 103 control infants participating in a randomized controlled trial in the Netherlands. PCV-7 immunization resulted in a temporary shift in microbial community composition and increased bacterial diversity. Immunization also resulted in decreased presence of the pneumococcal vaccine serotype and an increase in the relative abundance and presence of nonpneumococcal streptococci and anaerobic bacteria. Furthermore, the abundance of Haemophilus and Staphylococcus bacteria in vaccinees was increased over that in controls. This study illustrates the much broader effect of vaccination with PCV-7 on the microbial community than currently assumed, and highlights the need for careful monitoring when implementing vaccines directed against common colonizers.
Let’s look at that more closely. First off, it is a study of 97 vaccinated (PCV-7) and 103 unvaccinated (No PCV-7) children. The study does not mention it but the name of the vaccine is Prevnar-7/Prevenar . What the authors do mention, in quite a bit of detail, is that those children vaccinated had a shift in their microbiota. Here’s what the authors shared in the meat of this study:
“Vaccines show effectiveness against vaccine-serotype disease, nasopharyngeal acquisition of pneumococci, and pneumococcal transmission. However, nonvaccine pneumoccal serotypes fill the vacant nasopharyngeal niche, leaving overall pneumococcal carriage similar or only temporarily decreased (5,6) and lead to a gradual increase in nonvaccine serotype disease (7)….. Colonization is a dynamic process of interactions among microbes and between microbes and the host and result in balanced bacterial ecosystems that benefit health. Perturbations of these interactive microbial structures (e.g., by environmental change or vaccinations) alter the bacterial network structures and may thereby influence the presence and containment of other microbiota members, and these alterations have effects on health and susceptibility to disease (13,14).”
……. Vaccination with PCV-7 resulted in a shift in bacterial community composition and structure, with an increase in presence or abundance of several anaerobes, such as Veillonella, Prevotella, Fusobacterium, and Leptotrichia species; gram-positive bacteria, such as Actinomyces and Rothia species, and nonpneumococcal streptococci; and gram-negative Neisseria species.”
The authors’ WARNING:
“…we observed an increase in culture-proven S. aureus carriage in the original randomized controlled trial (18), as well as further increases in culture-proven S. aureus and H. influenzae carriage observed in surveillance studies 3–5 years after PCV-7 implementation in the Netherlands (8). These findings are consistent with negative associations between S. pneumoniae (particularly PCV-7 serotypes) and S. aureus (33,34) and H. influenzae (35–37) observed in healthy nonimmunized children. Nontypeable H. influenzae and S. aureus were also more frequently isolated from persons with acute otitis media after introduction of PCV-7 in national immunization programs (38–40), which indicates that carriage may reflect disease dynamics. Together with S. pneumoniae nonvaccine serotype replacement, these effects may further jeopardize the net health benefit of vaccinations with PCV.”
To sum this up:
-- A vaccine was created with 7 types of bacteria strains it was to fight. It has done that BUT there are many negative consequences.
-- A more than minor shift happened in the bacteria composition of the microbiota, revealing more pathogens, more ear infections and unknown consequences.
-- “Surveillance studies 3–5 years after PCV-7 implementation in the Netherlands (8),” revealed that not only were the vaccinated children affected but the parents as well - “In addition to large shifts in pneumococcal serotypes, persistently higher nasopharyngeal prevalence rates of S. aureus and H. influenzae were observed among young children and their parents after PCV-7 implementation. These findings may have implications for disease incidence and antibiotic treatment in the post-PCV era.”
-- A gradual increase in nonvaccine serotype disease.
-- Short-term and long-term surveillance during health and disease seems important in understanding the full implications of vaccine-induced changes in microbiota structure.
-- “Because infants might be vulnerable to community disruptions and dysbiosis”, the authors recommend that new trials, “such as studies on efficacy of broader pneumococcal coverage vaccines, consider the effect of vaccination on the commensal flora in its totality instead of only on a single species.”
-- In a nutshell, PCV (Pneumococcal conjugate vaccines) may cause more harm than good - ie “these effects may further jeopardize the net health benefit of vaccinations with PCV.”
AAP in New Jersey did a powerpoint last year on this very subject. They seem to understand these consequences but included many other possible sources. They were very lite on the vaccination issue and never mentioned mercury, something I had reported on earlier . Two of their slides show hints yet they are still not totally connecting the dots:
THE HUMAN MICROBIOME:
WHAT CHANGES IT?
-“The menace of antibiotics” – Martin Blaser, IDSA
- Rapid global mobility
- Type of diet: processed; animal fats vs. carbs
- Vaccines (pneumococcus vs. staph)
THE HUMAN MICROBIOME:
WESTERN LIFESTYLE DISEASES
- Tripling and quadrupling of various diseases post World War II
- IBD, obesity/metabolic syndrome, autism, celiac, autoimmune disease, C. difficile
- Could alterations of our microbiome be responsible?
Let’s repeat that last one - “Could alterations of our microbiome be responsible?” YES , much research is showing that yet where is the alarm?
So we see CDC and AAP acknowledge this scientific significance yet how long has this concern been known?
Effect of Seven-Valent Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine on Staphylococcus aureus Colonisation in a Randomised Controlled Trial, Published: June 10, 2011 - “We found, even after a reduced primary dose PCV7-schedule with 2 instead of 3 primary vaccinations before the age of 6 months, a temporary but distinct 2-fold increase in S. aureus nasopharyngeal colonisation in PCV7 vaccinated infants at 12 months of age shortly after receiving a booster dose. This means that for every 20 children vaccinated with PCV7, 1 extra child is colonised with S. aureus in the nasopharynx……Increased S. aureus colonisation at a vulnerable age may have clinical consequences.”
Clinical consequences? That was three years ago. More alarming, here is another study conclusion from TEN years ago but with a different spin:
“Since 2004, the invasive pneumococcal disease rate caused by nonvaccine serotypes has increased 140% compared with the prevaccine period……. Alaska Native children are experiencing replacement invasive pneumococcal disease with serotypes not covered by heptavalent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine. The demonstration of replacement invasive pneumococcal disease emphasizes the importance of ongoing surveillance and development of expanded valency vaccines.”
What that means is that these children were developing numerous infections capable of causing increased diseases AFTER receiving the PCV-7 vaccine. They even gave it a fancy name - “ replacement invasive pneumococcal disease with serotypes not covered by heptavalent pneumococcal conjugate.” Their conclusion was to create more vaccines to then kill more of these strains. It was a CDC funded study.
So far there are four vaccines on the market targeted at pneumococcal diseases:
• Prevnar, contains the cell membrane sugars of seven serotypes of pneumococcus, conjugated with Diphtheria proteins.
• Synflorix is a decavalent vaccine, meaning that it contains ten serotypes of pneumococcus.
• Prevnar 13 is a tridecavalent vaccine, meaning that it contains thirteen serotypes of pneumococcus.
• Pneumovax® is 23-valent polysaccharide vaccine (PPVSV23) that is currently recommended for use in all adults who are older than 65 years of age and for persons who are 2 years and older and at high risk for disease.
Listed by CDC.
There are over ninety serotypes of pneumococcus http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/pubs/pinkbook/downloads/pneumo.pdf . Is the plan to create vaccines to kill them all because as we are seeing, that idea has some rather dangerous ramifications? While it is a noble idea to try and stop cases of pneumonia or pneumococcal meningitis, the reality is that there seems to be a horrendous domino effect, “This analysis suggests that a PCV vaccination programme would eradicate vaccine serotypes from circulation. However, the increase in carriage of non-vaccine serotypes, and the consequent increase in invasive disease, could reduce, negate or outweigh the benefit.”
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation also seems interested in this research:
Vaccination is likely to have important consequences for the NP microbiome. Current pneumococcal vaccines are directed against multiple serotypes thus potentially eliminating these from the microbiome. Based on observations on this and other vaccines, new organisms are expected to move into the empty niches created by vaccine elimination of organisms. Thus the structure of the microbiome is altered by vaccines. The unintended consequences of this alteration remain to be seen.
It seems very possible that if the microbiome takes a hit, like mercury exposure or immune manipulation via vaccination, the more we may see the immune system diseases rapidly rise. Autism and PANDAS/PANS and other immune-damaged diseases deserve huge concern and true research.Coldplay has some good lyrics in their song, Clocks and the message and the ticking of time seems pertinent here:
….. And a trouble that can't be named
…..Am I a part of the cure?
Or am I part of the disease? Singing
Teresa Conrick is Contributing Editor to Age of Autism and has authored a series on the Microbiome that is available in the AofA exlclusives.