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Maternal Antibodies and Autism and Flu Shots Oh Why?

Vax PregnantBy Teresa Conrick

The research on maternal antibodies as a cause of some cases of autism continues to grow. From TIME this week: "Mother’s Antibodies May Explain a Quarter of Autism Cases"

In a study published in Translational Psychiatry, researchers report that 23% of all cases of autism may result from the presence of maternal antibodies that interfere with fetal brain development during pregnancy. The work builds on a 2008 study from the same scientists that first described the group of antibodies in mothers-to-be.

This is interesting and important work as we continue to see autism as a disorder with roots to the immune system. It did make me wonder if it was possible that the maternal immune activation discussed here as a cause in 23% of the cases could correlate to immune activation created artifically by influenza vaccination. It seemed a valid point and one worth investigating especially when I saw this, also in that TIME article:

The antibodies belong to a class of compounds called autoantibodies, which are immune cells that the body makes to target — often mistakenly — its own cells. Scientists do not know why or when the mothers produce these antibodies, which appear to monkey with normal nerve development in the fetal brain by interfering with their growth, migration and genetic replication. It is possible that infections during pregnancy — a known risk factor for autism —can prompt the immune system to produce them. Exposure to toxic chemicals can also cause immune defenders to mistake healthy cells for invaders, Van de Water notes.

Note the last two sentences - the first related to infection in pregnancy and the second to toxic chemicals.

Can infection in pregnancy cause autism? I wondered about that and did some background reading and wrote this article in January, "Can Influenza Vaccines Cause Maternal Immune Activation Linked To Autism?

Mothers who get the flu while pregnant could risk affecting their baby's brain, which might lead to 'infantile autism' in their child.

A Danish study shows that children were slightly more likely to be diagnosed with the condition before the age of three if their mother had the flu.

Researchers claim that when the mother's immune system is triggered - for example, when they have an influenza virus - it is possible that the foetus' developing brain could be affected.
But they have clarified that pregnant women and mothers should not be concerned by the findings, as only a tiny portion of those who had influenza gave birth to children with 'infantile autism' and that the research was so limited and early that no concrete findings had been discovered."

Interesting.  So why is it then that in 1918, the Great Influenza Epidemic swept the world, but yet autism was not identified nor described until Dr. Leo Kanner diagnosed it with those first eleven children born in the 1930's?:

Since 1938 , there have come to our attention a number of children whose condition differs so markedly and uniquely from anything reported so far that each case merits—and, I hope will eventually receive—a detailed consideration of its fascinating peculiarities...."

So let's look at the mechanism described:

"..the pro-inflammatory cytokine interleukin 6, which is known to induce placental inflammatory processes46 and has been shown to mediate the neurodevelopmental effects of gestational inflammation.47 It is possible that such inflammatory processes could be related to the production of maternal antibodies that recognize fetal antigens through maternal-fetal cross talk48 or that maternal antibody to antigen interactions may precipitate inflammation-induced neurodevelopmental alterations similarly to bacterial or viral challenge."

That is interesting and similar to what I found in my reading, which brings me to the second method identified as a causative factor in producing these maternal antibodies -- toxic chemicals. What else can cause Interleukin 6 (IL-6) a pro-inflammatory cytokine, to be produced?
"Effect of influenza vaccine on markers of inflammation and lipid profile"

Despite wide use of the influenza vaccine, relatively little is known about its effect on the measurement of inflammatory markers....We drew blood from 22 healthy individuals 1 to 6 hours before they were given an influenza vaccination and 1, 3, and 7 days after the vaccination...Our findings show that the influenza vaccination causes transient changes in select markers of inflammation and lipids. Consequently, clinical and epidemiologic interpretation of the biomarkers affected should take into account the possible effects of influenza vaccination.

Inflammatory responses to trivalent influenza virus vaccine among pregnant women
In the U.S., seasonal trivalent influenza virus vaccine (TIV) is currently universally recommended for all pregnant women. However, data on the maternal inflammatory response to vaccination is lacking and would better delineate the safety and clinical utility of immunization.......Significant increases in CRP were seen at one and two days post-vaccination (ps<05). A similar effect was seen for TNF-α, for which an increase at two days post-vaccination approached statistical significance (p=.06). There was considerable variability in magnitude of response; coefficients of variation for change at two days post-vaccination ranged from 122% to 728%, with the greatest variability in IL-6 responses at this timepoint.......Trivalent influenza virus vaccination elicits a measurable inflammatory response among pregnant women. ......further research is needed to confirm that the mild inflammatory response elicited by vaccination is benign in pregnancy.

Can Thimerosal, the mercury used in vaccines as a preservative, be part of this picture? This past year, it was reported by the CDC about the total number of flu shots and then the Thimerosal-free flu shots:

"145 million doses of influenza vaccine .... 62 million doses of thimerosal-free or preservative-free (trace thimerosal) influenza vaccine."

Could any of these women, who were part of this study, have had a flu shot? It looks as if Thimerosal in any of those flu vaccines could possibly cause an increase in IL-6, the same IL-6 described above in the study -- "the pro-inflammatory cytokine interleukin 6, which is known to induce placental inflammatory processes46 and has been shown to mediate the neurodevelopmental effects of gestational inflammation...."

Thimerosal is shown to have profound effects on the immune system and is in many of the influenza vaccines:

"When thimerosal, at a concentration as low as 20 parts per billion, alters the fidelity of normal calcium signals, dendritic cells show abnormal secretion of IL-6 cytokine - a potent chemical signal that initiates inflammatory responses."

It appears very possible that influenza vaccination, especially with Thimerosal, could start off this inflammatory process in a pregnancy. I need to mention too, that the percent in this study, the 23% who went on and had a child diagnosed with autism -- is in the ballpark of the percent of pregnant women who reportedly get a flu shot -" between 10 percent and one-quarter of women"
Another imperative reason we need this research and precautions is that I met one of the women in this study. She had a flu shot when pregnant.

Teresa Conrick is Contributing Editor to Age of Autism.





We used ESL books years ago and when my son was a teenager ESL dictionaries with words used in context were very helpful.

And if the child can read, try turning on DVD subtitles. It was only after we did this that my son could understand what was being said. Before that, most of what he heard was nonsense. I imagine it's like the little language we understand when trying to follow a movie in a foreign language, even after we've studied it for years. Or how speech sounds to us when sped up to 16 syllables per second:



Joseph Ouma,
How old is your brother? The younger you start the better, but any age is better than nothing. The brain damage that caused the autism damaged the language center of his brain, and if he's older than five or so and talking very little, he probably never will unless he gets intensive ESL instruction. I've been using Cambridge University ESL books with my daughter for three years and she speaks much more than she did before we started, though still a long way from normal. She now asks things like When did you go? or How old were you? which she never did before. Two weeks ago she asked Do I have to? We had studies that in her ESL book, but she had never used it independently before. If your brother is little, I just got some Cambridge elementary school ESL books, there are three for preschool called Safari. I got the teacher's edition for two of the years, and they explain explicitly what to do to teach children basic English and having them answer in complete sentences, not just dog, but There is a dog. Not just yellow, but The balloon is yellow. I think using this method from the beginning would turn around autism education: they're not doing it now, because no one understands about the vaccine encephalitis physically damaging the inborn language structures in the brain.

Please go check them out at Amazon. Cambridge Safari and for middle school Connect, for high school Interchange. They are extremely well-done, attractive, very gradual, and thorough. My daughter has been working on using pretty well, fairly tall, really good, extremely interesting, and similar adverbs, which she had never used before and I'm not sure she understood their meaning when she heard them or read them. We're near the end of Interchange 2 now.

joseph ouma

i have a brother who is autistic will he talk in future ?

RaDonna Fox

This blog http://mothersofautisticchildren.weebly.com/ has some good in formation on the mothers seeking answers about autism, as well as some other good info.

Steve White

I am not a scientist but I think I see some misconceptions here.
I think when Dr. Van de Water is talking about not knowing why someone gets the antibodies she means it's not known usually why an autoimmune diseases develops. I think she has found a genetic variant in the Moms that makes them tend to break tolerance. And at a DAN conference I think she said nearly all the Moms had this variant -- not a really rare variant IIRC and I think there were many Moms with the variant who did not have the antibodies, but still does not seem to occur very much at all in women without the variant.

John Fryer

This article is again relevant with a piece in the SCIENCE magazine.


Behind a pay wall so its just a glimpse only.

Why should people be sceptical?

Vaccines use antigens to make antibodies.

Previously this was a process of NATURE.

Today, we are increasingly using the new GOD or a person with a syringe to give antibodies that nature had previously made.

Given the past errors when man tries to imitate nature (Chernobyl and Fukushima replicating our SUN? etc etc)

We might have the feeling these researchers are finding what any common sense person could PREDICT?

Give a mom man-made antibodies and OBSERVE in the next generation and what do we find?


Steve White

Another quick comment actually dealing with the maternal immune activation during pregnancy as discussed above.
A flu vaccine might be risky in general or maybe for some mothers, or maybe some fetuses.
But what I have heard before and seen mentioned above I think was mothers actually getting the flu during pregnancy, not that the vaccine itself is risky.
The MIA theory and animal studies I guess suggest actually being sick (or having it simulated) can be harmful. But not that the vaccine is harmful. It might be much better for mothers to get the vaccine so they don't get the flu itself, you've got a lot more immune activation with the actual disease.
I have no idea if it's historically accurate but maybe the protection and isolation for pregnant women given in the past was a good thing.

Steve White

My family took part in the research at UC Davis Mind Institute that I believe formed part of the participant pool for these studies. Our son, and the rest of the family, was in the Autism Phenome Project, which I think was considered the largest study of it's kind in the world, because they started early and followed the kids for 3 visits with MRI, ERP, and a battery of psychological tests at each visit. Extensive genetics testing too.
I don't want to anger or offend people, and I did not read anyone criticizing Judy Van de Water directly, but I wanted to say, besides maybe maturing me in some ways, the biggest up side to my son being autistic has been meeting Judy and other people in the research there, David Amaral, really all the people up there. They have been a huge comfort to me and my family and spent a lot of time explaining things that they did not have to.
Besides my personal feelings about them, they are clearly
published in some of the top journals -- which does not mean they can't be wrong, but it means they are not flakey or doing anything specious and other scientists beliee they are on the right track.
It's not at all surprising maternal antibodies cause some cases of autism. Remember no one is claiming all autism is caused by any one thing. The brain is so complex there are hundreds of things that can go wrong.
Dr. Amaral has never slammed the door on the possibility of vaccines causing some cases. I think folks who believe strongly in vaccines as a cause should not slam the door on maternal antibodies being a cause as well. Not out of courtesy, thought that is generally a virtue, but because it seems to be where the science goes.

It's really very good news maternal antibodies seem to be such a common cause -- they will probably get a commercial test out pretty soon, and then some treatments (well, prenatal treatments anyway, preventative not curative).

Everyone should try to understand there will be hundreds of things linked to autism, and we need to work together to keep pushing for funding.


"The public health folks themselves, claim that one in six pregnant women is already carrying a high mercury burden. and then you let the gynecologists tell them to eat a can of tuna a week. and then you decide to give pregnant moms a huge dose of mercury in a vaccine. and then you let pediatric vaccines with mercury stay on the market up to 2008. The year after that you tell doctors to give kids two regular flu shots and two swine flu shot(both may contain mercury), while even many of the pediatricians imagine that mercury is no longer used in vaccines. In order to carry this out , you get the definition of" pandemic" changed and trick the president into coming on TV to have a flu shot. If anyone today imagines that the public health - medical machine desires to "protect" children- then this must all be a bad dream."

Yes it seems there are an almost infinite number of ways to get mercury into fetuses and infants.

Please take a look at this ingenious invention.

Why do 53% of autistic children have rh negative mothers?

“If you are an Rh-negative mother, remember that, although Thimerosal-free Rho-GAM became available in 2002, the supply of mercury-containing Rho-GAM is still on the market. Remember the word “thimerosal” means it contains 49.6% mercury. This is especially important because fifty-three percent of mothers of autistic children are Rh negative, while only three percent of mothers of normal children are Rh-negative.” Why do 53% of autistic children have rh negative mothers?, Note allowing this mercury to be injected into fetuses is CRIMINAL and worse IMO

Folks please take a little time to understand this issue. 53% of autistic children have rh-negative mothers while only 10% of mothers are rh-negative. Please go to the website and read the document. The drug these mothers are given is loaded with MERCURY while a mercury free version of the drug is available! In the US the pregnant mothers are injected with the mercury laden drug which immediately flows into the fetus. You cannot ignore this startling fact. There can absolutely be NO question that MERCURY is a STRONG factor in autism IMO.



"In a study published in Translational Psychiatry, researchers report that 23% of all cases of autism may result from the presence of maternal antibodies that interfere with fetal brain development during pregnancy."

Yea right! So millions of years of evolution give us a reproductive process with these disastrous results. And after all those millions and millions of years it all started about the same time as we started "vaccinating".

Please do another "genetic" "study" they are more convincing.

Cherry Sperlin Misra

The public health folks themselves, claim that one in six pregnant women is already carrying a high mercury burden. and then you let the gynaecologists tell them to eat a can of tuna a week. and then you decide to give pregnant moms a huge dose of mercury in a vaccine. and then you let pediatric vaccines with mercury stay on the market up to 2008. The year after that you tell doctors to give kids two regular flu shots and two swine flu shot(both may contain mercury), while even many of the pediatricians imagine that mercury is no longer used in vaccines. In order to carry this out , you get the definition of" pandemic" changed and trick the president into coming on TV to have a flu shot. If anyone today imagines that the public health - medical machine desires to "protect" children- then this must all be a bad dream.

Cherry Sperlin Misra

Thankyou Linda- That is a great comment. Many of our doctors and researchers today are young people, lacking in experience, and seeing science through the prism of their training. Yeah- The immune system "got it wrong" Yeah- The immune system mistakenly attacks the self , rather than the intruder. Millions of years of evolution and the immune system gets the blame? Without fully understanding physiological phenomena, we describe them in a way that makes sense to our minds- and get stuck with misleading pseudo-science. It is our lack of genuine science - or perhaps our refusal to look at the genuine science- that got us into this autism disaster. I have to say I am always wary of those who seem to want to take us down a new path for autism. such people should be prepared to tell us how their insights explain why autism is more prevalent in boys- how autism shot up from 1985 in the US and 2003 in India- and how their data explains all of the symptoms of autism. Friends- Listen to everyone, but question the science.

Teresa Conrick

Thank you, Jackie and everyone for the supportive comments. Jackie, I agree that this all brings up important questions that need to be examined more. There are a lot of good researchers out there like Dr. Van de Water, who are trying to tackle the immune triggers. Their efforts are very appreciated.

Jackie Murphy

I would like to say for the record....well done, Teresa! I like the article and am standing right next to you asking this question! I am glad you put this out!


Please,please take 10 minutes of your precious time and review this study from outside of USA:
Neurotoxic effects of thimerosal at vaccine doses on the encephalon (CNS)and development in 7 days old hamsters.
All the answers are there.
If you ask me what happened to the ("malfunctioned")freezer where the autistic brains were kept,I would say someone pulled the plug to destroy the evidence.Giving a pregnant mother a flu vaccine is the most horrendous crime,most of it will end up in the fetus's brain.This research confirmed all my fears.Please,
Dear Friends print this out and share it with friends and family.That is all I can say because I am so broken inside.
HOW COULD THIS HAPPEN? WHY DID THIS HAPPEN? A total system failure.No it is not hereditary,it is iatrogenic.

maurine meleck

Thanks Teresa as always a good piece. The study itself seems rather hallow without a reason behind these antibodies.


Congratulations to our dear Kate and William for their baby boy born today!

I can't help wondering whether this baby boy will be given all these vaccines...how will we ever know? I have a feeling it won't be the MMR for sure. Not when the Royals are such well known supporters of homeopathic medicine.

Jackie Murphy

Correction to my post. Descent into autism and not decent. Nothing decent about what is happening to our medically sick individuals being labeled with autism

Jackie Murphy

I am the mother whom Teresa speaks of in this article. I am a nurse, a research participant and the mother of a severely autistic child with multiple medical diagnoses. I am very open on my opinions regarding the genesis of my son's autism. My genetics that lend to autoimmunity and an insult to my immune system while I was pregnant is where I believe our problems began.Of course I can't say for sure, but I do believe it was the flu shot in pregnancy for us. As well, each vaccine brought an insult on my son after birth. The final decent into regressive autism was six vaccines while he was recovering from an upper respiratory tract infection....including a flu shot. I advocate looking into administration of flu shot during pregnancy with this study population.

I would like to add this. I have worked very closely with Dr. Van de Water. She has integrity, good intentions, and her research is solid. She is not trying to dupe anyone who is suffering from this illness, rather try to find cause and solution. I know how much blood sweat and tears has gone into this research....because some of it belonged to me and my son....literally. I find it very frustrating that every new study that comes out turns us into defensive mode if we don't see the exact answer we want. We are going to need to start communicating better with research. Because, quite frankly, our healthcare system has missed the boat. I feel as strongly about research being more cooperative with our group. I am very communicative about that in the studies we participate in.

Jackie Murphy

david burd

Teresa, I can clear up your puzzlement about the "Spanish Flu" of 1918-19, and why there was a complete dearth of consequent cases of autism (or autism spectrum) cases.

There is abundant and convincing documentation that "Spanish Flu" in the military armed forces (The U.S. Army Surgeon General's Annual Reports, for instance) and many civilian medical systems show "flu-associated deaths" over a normal background rate were not by flu illness at all: Instead the victims died quickly by septicemias or toxemias of their blood systems - NOT from respiratory failures.

These victims' deaths were caused by 4 to 6 new poisonous vaccines inflicted on all military recruits (thus explaining why this healthiest age group for the only time in history had flu mortality equal or higher than every other age group). Civilian populations were panicked by the military deaths and also the medical powers that be, thus tens of millions were also injected with many new, also poisonus, vaccines similar to those forced on military recruits.

It's the irony of all ironies: The greatest "Flu Epidemic in History" was actually CAUSED by hundreds of millions of new toxic vaccines injected into their unwitting victims - and today in modern times the U.S. Centers of Disease Control, stemming from the vaccine-caused horror of 1918-19 continues on their deadly mission of injecting pregnant mothers and infants with extremely toxic, completely without merit, modern flu vaccines.

If you like, email me at [email protected] - all questions cheerfully engaged. I am currently working on a book outline for this Flu/vaccine topic.

david m burd



This statement coming from a scientists is flooring; "'What causes it in this case we may never know.'". Why would you say something like that immediately within the releases of the report? Someone is intimidated by something.


"...it's when the immune system gets it wrong,' said UC Davis immunologist Judy Van de Water..."

Do you think they could ever entertain the possibility that the immune system is performing as it is meant to and that it is the medical profession that is getting the immune system wrong?


Speaking of cleaning up the gene pool, read this:

"World's First IVF Baby Born after Preimplantation Genome Sequencing is Now 11 Months Old"


and this:

"Genetic advance in fight against Down syndrome"


GATTACA is here!



I think they are trying to clean up the gene pool and assume the Royal family genes are superior (notice how we don't hear about autism in blueblood Royal families only in us 'commoners'). They are shooting themselves in the foot. Think about all the famous historic figures (Presidents, world leaders, scientists, writers and artists) who may have never have been born or who might have autism due to their genetic inferiority. Our world is becoming more like a GATTACA reality. A future of designer babies and emphasize on the genetic superiority of the elite ruling class. Separate the genetially fit from the unfit. Maybe that the master plan all along. It takes snobbery to a whole new level.

Anne Dachel

Teresa, thank you for talking about this.

In the story, How a mother unwittingly causes autism in her child, from the Athens (GA) Banner-Herald http://onlineathens.com/health/2013-07-14/how-mother-unwittingly-causes-autism-her-child we can read about this antibody study:
"The researchers also demonstrated that these human autoantibodies can change the social behavior and brain mass of a close primate cousin, the rhesus monkey, in ways that are parallel to autism's symptoms in humans.

"Though the effects of these immunoglobulin-G compounds on animal and human brains have become more clear in recent years, why they arise in the first place remains a mystery.

"'You're making antibodies to your own proteins, rather than foreign bodies; it's when the immune system gets it wrong,' said UC Davis immunologist Judy Van de Water, lead author of one of the studies, published Tuesday in the journal Translational Psychiatry. 'What causes it in this case we may never know.'"

"We may never know"? Shouldn't we be in a panic to find the cause if this involves a quarter of autism cases? Until we address autism as the health care disaster that it is, we'll continue to see it treated as a curiosity that we have all the time in the world look at.

Anne Dachel, Media


Wow. Thank you Theresa for all of your outstanding work. How can we get this information to the relevant researchers as soon as possible??!

Teresa Conrick

Thanks, Alison for the link. So much evidence of harm yet so little warning. More research and appropriate informed consent is definitely needed.


Excellent article Teresa and thanks for Dr. Brogan's article, Alison. At first when I read "Reproductive Psychiatrist", I thought, what the heck could that be? When I realized that she specializes in mental health during pregnancy, it just struck me, how could there be enough mental illness among pregnant women that it could support a medical specialty? Not to say that mental illness in pregnant women didn't exist 50 years ago. Of course it did. But I think that fifty, or even thirty years ago, Dr. Brogan would have been twiddling her thumbs most of the time.

Jeannette Bishop

Thank you, Teresa! The flu shot "recommendation" ... I'm not up for going into what I think this indicates about the U.S. vaccine program.

Thanks also, Alison, for the link.

I wonder though, if the prenatal/postnatal flu shot (thimerosal containing versions particularly) is a major risk factor for autism, epidemiologically speaking, if this will be fairly straightforward to demonstrate? In theory this is the only TCV infants were exposed to after about 2004.

The Price et al study claims they failed to find any link, but they state:

"For measures of prenatal exposure, we used information obtained from the maternal interview on vaccination and immunoglobulin exposures during pregnancy. However, we attempted to minimize the effects of recall bias by also using information recorded in maternal medical charts."


If mothers received the flu vaccine at the local Walmart pharmacy or some such place outside of the OB/GYN practice would this likely be recorded in their medical records? Were they shifting many who were actually exposed to thimerosal into the non-exposed group?

And if what Brian Hooker was saying he found through FOIA about prenatal flu shot risk is accurate, the data used for the Price et al study really needs to be made widely available for independent attempts at "replication."


See -- I this is why you almost think it all is on purpose.

That it is not just about greed -make a vaccine and get more monry- and they can't be that stupid --CAN THEY?--

giving women a flu shot either means they have to be trying to cover up what a dumb #$* idea- of increasing the vaccine load in the 90s after seeing clear signs in the late 70s with the DPT shot


They really are trying to get rid of us.

Hmmm, My daughter was born the same year as the first prince of Diana's. My second followed along after Princess Diana's second.

Next generation -- Kate is in labor today -- and mine --

Their plan seems to be working.

John Stone


Excellent as ever. Certainly indicates how critical flu vaccinating pregnant women might be to blurring the autism statistics.


Alison MacNeil

Teresa, excellent post as always. I wanted to make sure you saw this; Kelly Brogan, MD is a Reproductive Psychiatrist in NYC who blogged on TMR recently about how there really is no such thing as informed consent with the flu shot.


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