Vaccines: "A Necessary Evil?"
SafeMinds 2013 Reseach That Focuses On Need To Know Science

Regressive Autism---A New Hypothesis to End an Enigma?

Question markBy Bill Welsh.

It is difficult to imagine a worse scenario than the one experienced by the many parents I have met.

To witness a perfect child gradually lose all his or her skills, regress, and develop distressing behavioural difficulties, often including self injury, should never be visited on any family, but the sad reality is it has been occurring increasingly for over twenty or more years. And as if observing the deterioration of the child is not enough- even worse eventually follows, sometimes years later,—an official diagnosis of autism (ASD)! Parents soon discover that ‘lifelong’, ‘incurable’ and ‘genetic’ are the three words most associated with the condition. ‘Regressive autism’ is a diagnosis wrapped in bleak negativity.

The latest figures for the UK inform us that over 100,000 schoolchildren have an autism diagnosis. Medical officialdom is quick to re-assure society that there are valid reasons for this significant increase in ASD, including for example ‘better recognition’ and ‘widening diagnostic criteria’.

They are mistaken.

Over 70 years ago autism was identified as a new condition, and was regarded as ‘rare’, that is until about 1990 when its diagnosis began to increase markedly. It is now common. No one in medical science has offered a plausible (one that has survived close scrutiny) explanation for the mystery known as the ‘autism enigma’. This is surprising as there are plenty of clues:

Most, but not all, parents have no hesitation in identifying a vaccination event as the forerunner to their child’s gradual withdrawal. With over 1,500 parents taking legal action, in the usually non-litigious UK, during the MMR vaccine episode one would have thought the role of vaccination would have received very close scientific examination. Inexplicably this did not happen. Official focus remained on the need to maintain public confidence in MMR in order to prevent communicable diseases rather than on a thorough examination of parental testimony. Vaccination as a precursor to a child’s descent into regressive autism became a neglected vital clue.

Another disregarded clue was the consistent reporting by parents of auditory processing disorders in their child. Much of what is seen and described as autistic symptoms (sound sensitivity, communication problems, language development etc) have a clear auditory component while it is highly likely that other symptoms (behavioural difficulties, social functioning etc) might have too. Auditory processing disorders are common in these children. Is this another neglected clue?

 A scientific team in the USA carried out a large and important study of twins and concluded that 65% of autism is caused by an environmental factor, leaving only 35% of autism as genetic in origin. This game-changing news, contradicting a long held belief structure, was seemingly ignored!

A, later retracted, gastro-intestinal study of 12 autistic children in the UK apparently identified “a novel form of bowel disease”. The retraction of the study did not dispel the fact that many autistic children experience bowel problems.

In a landmark decision in the USA a child (Hannah Poling) was granted compensation for having developed ASD following multiple vaccinations including MMR.  The court’s decision was complicated by the discovery that Hannah had a mitochondrial disorder which we were told may have contributed to her withdrawal into autism. (It has since been established that many autistic children have mitochondrial disorder). Was this another overlooked lead?

Unrelated to the mitochondria connection another team of scientists in the USA identified  ‘decreased tryptophan metabolism’ in autistic patients. Another clue?

The clues pile up: an environmental factor as the likely cause; it may be associated (not exclusively) with vaccines; it has a partiality for the auditory tract and could also be associated with bowel disease. And amongst all that- mitochondrial disorder is somehow implicated and also tryptophan depletion!

Where to start?

Interestingly, asearch of the literature on veterinary vaccines reveals the serious concern that pathogenic  mycoplasmas, specifically Mycoplasma Fermentans, have generated over many years which may highlight poor ‘quality control’ and a lack of sufficient care in the manufacturing process.  

Laboratory scientists will not hesitate in confirming that Mycoplasma contamination of cell lines is one of the major problems in cell culture technology. This mainly occurs through use of animal cell-based approaches in the making of vaccines (e.g. Measles). Antibiotics are added to the growth medium which tends to stop the more ‘common’ types of bacteria from replicating (such as streptococcus or staphylococcus species) but are less successful with mycoplasmas as this genus of bacteria lack a cell wall. Without a cell wall they are unaffected by common anti-biotics such as penicillins that target cell wall synthesis.

Mycoplasmas are in fact a covert contamination of vaccines, and extremely difficult to detect and eliminate.

How do mycoplasmas interact in the human body?

Mycoplasmas are able to hide inside the cells of the host (patient) or to attach to the outside of host cells. Whether they live inside or outside the host cell, they depend on host cells for nutrients such as cholesterol, amino acids, etc. They compete with the host cells for these nutrients which can interfere with host cell function without killing the host cell.

Let us re-visit the clues:

Mycoplasma fermentans is a known vaccine contaminant.

Limited veterinary research suggests that mycoplasmas may favour the auditory tract. This would not be surprising as mycoplasmas have an affinity for the cilia and stereocilia. Cilia are slender, microscopic, hair like structures or organelles that extend from the surface of nearly all mammalian cells. The stereocilia are the sensory hair cells of the cochlea in the inner ear, they are vital to the function of the auditory system.

Mycoplasmas have been the subject of much research in the area of bowel disease, Crohns Disease and also Reflux, a frequently reported problem for regressive autistic children.

Interestingly, mycoplasmas affect the function of mitochondria. In fact mycoplasma infection competes with the mitochondria and, as well, infects the cells containing mitochondria and the mitochondria themselves.

Mitochondrial malfunction can be a symptom of mycoplasma infection.

Tryptophan is one of the amino acids that mycoplasmas scavenge from their host’s tissues.


Even a cursory examination of the history of mycoplasmas reveals that they are able to hide inside the cells of the host (patient) or to attach to the outside of host cells.

Mycoplasmas are an incredibly malicious and virulent species of bacteria and are not only extremely clever, they are very difficult to trace. Also it is most likely that should mycoplasma enter the human body’s bloodstream they will over time invade virtually any cell they choose, causing a “gradual deterioration” in the patient. And no doubt, like other pathogens, they will target cells (favoured locations) in the host, e.g. the auditory tract, the gut, and the CNS.

It is unlikely that mycoplasma infection will be readily identified using a standard blood test. The nature of the pathogen is that it becomes intracellular therefore a more sophisticated approach to testing is necessary. (The MELISA test hasbeen proposed by some.)

The delay between the child’s early regression and the identification of mycoplasma fermentans as the cause may be a significant factor in the progression of this opportunistic bacterial infection leading to medical co-morbidities.

Parents will be interested to learn that a treatment expressly for mycoplasma infection is currently in phase 3 of clinical development. Medical herbal remedies already exist.

This abridged hypothesis outlines the putative involvement of the pathogen mycoplasma fermentans as a potential aetiological agent and that vaccination is one likely conduit for this covert pathogen and a cause of the symptoms commonly seen in regressive autistic children. It is an abbreviated version of the scientific paper: Mycoplasma Fermentans and deciliation as a precursor to Regressive Autism.(copyright Bill Welsh).

Bill Welsh is the founder and former Honorary President of Autism Treatment Trust, Edinburgh.


Managing Editor

Thanks, Millie - I hope we can help you and would appreciate hearing your point of view as well - my oldest daughter is 19 - close to your age. Welcome to AofA.



Benndetta I'm 21 n Yes I do regress as part of the condition I have seeked help from many places just to no avail the bright part is i got facts to add to my personal reasearch about the condition from the people I have seen and through it all now I stopped bouncing round trying cure for what I have cause Yeah it makes me react different to things but in the end of that to me doesn't mean to me im unhealthy in means my brains wired wrong but it not really stopped me doing anything someone that doesn't have it does I have friends I have love I have a job I have hobby I have mainstream education so I I just accepting what I have got n living my way around it however thank-you for the offer and I am Sorry if I came off rude too


Kim is really telling me not to be rude and she is right.

However old you are Millie; I was disrepectful in calling you baby doll.

I did not dignose my son -- the school systems took care of that for me. Many times over.

I am glad you are here and looking around.
As Roger Kulp said at the very first of this post -regression is not a one time thing.

I see that you mentioned regression.
Maybe you can take courage and hope that there are some things that might help you feel better.

Everyone should try to live healthy regardless.
In this day and age we are all so confused at what is healthy.
Maybe you can get some ideas of what you think would be good by looking around here or Safe Minds.
Roger has been really sick and has gone through some really bad times - maybe he would not mind to help you.

If anything seems to ring a bell for ou


Thank you Kim for letting it through.
Thankyou Millie.
How old are you, Millie?


To manging editor thankyou for letting my comment through not meaning to be rude just stating my opinion i am passionate about getting people to understand austim as what it really and it dissapoints when i see articles like this cause its simply not true

Managing Editor

Millie, I'm Kim- Managing Editor - I let your comment through, but will tell you that Benedetta is longtime reader and commenter who shares excellent information - we respect and value her opinion. You don't have to agree with her - but you don't have to rude to her either. Thank you.


Bennetta this is not something i learned from biology it is something i have learned from having autism my whole life it is a born with condition that cant be caught or cured vaccines may have made your kids ill but what ever it is is not autism autism devolps when i child is a baby cause certain parts of the childs brain work diffrently in their developmental stages wich means the child does not grow up to understand things people without it do i have been reasearching my condition since i was 10 I know what causes it and what doesn't I have been round asking every autism specialist i can find to gain this knowledge what im saying is reasesrch thats come from medical proffesionals the information above is from a washed up tv announcer who has picked up on a old scaremonger about vaccines causing it wich was dismissed as a theory n cause ages ago and bought it back up it just a old scaremonger so i would concentrate on wether your kid is truly autisic in that case he was born with it and u need to except that or getting the right diognoses of the illness the vaccines caused your kid cause it ain't autism


Sorry Millie you are Not talking to ordinary people


Please note baby girl - you are talking to ordinary people about hypothical things you have learned in high school or even college biology.

You are telling this to people that are eye witnesses to vaccine reactions within hours -- and parents of rechallenge

Rechallenge is when you take your kid in for a vaccine and it reacts but the ped says no you were mistaken. So, you let your kid get a booster and it reacts again.

For my son -- he was rechallenged three times because I was a believer at one time ---- like you my dear Millie.


Immunization, particularly with the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine, was suggested in the past to be linked to autism, but was unsupported by evidence. Current consensus holds that there is no causal relationship between immunization and onset of autism my proof found against this nonsense plus i think everyone here should no your not beleiving a medical proffesional or scientist bill welsh who wrote this is a retired tv announcer ! and to henra my mum was sketchy about giving me vaccinations because i also have elos danlos sydrome and because of that instead of my body expelling the vaccinations after 1 or two days it would take a week and no i didnt mean regression like that i meant in certian situations i regress back so instead of acting like a 21 year old i act like a 4 year old cause my brain cant find another way to cope n thankyou i have learnt to live with my autism i diffcult at times but i manage n have enough support behind me to help me through my episodes n i am now focusing on trying to get people to understand what autism truly is wich is why i hate this nonsense

Eileen Nicole Simon

Bill, thank you for this hypothesis. Vaccination is the most visible event preceding a child’s decline into autism, and parental concerns should have motivated research into vaccine toxicity, not denial.

Far less visible is an obstetric procedure that most people consider necessary, even natural. That is use of a clamp on the umbilical cord. Until the mid 1980s, textbooks taught that the cord should not be clamped until pulsations in it ceased. Blood flow to and from the placenta does not immediately stop at birth. Placental circulation continues (by nature’s plan) until fetal valves in the heart close and blood is redirected to the lungs. Once the lungs have taken over the role of respiration, circulation to the placenta will cease. The cord will collapse, and can then be cut without any loss of blood.

Clamping the cord before the onset of breathing will cause at least a brief period of oxygen insufficiency. In experiments with monkeys back in the 1950s and 60s, asphyxia was caused by clamping the cord and preventing the onset of breathing. Prominent damage was found in nuclei of the auditory pathway, without any damage to the cerebral cortex.

Damage in the auditory pathway was almost missed. Seymour Kety performed seminal research on blood-flow in the brain, using radioactive tracers. Look in PubMed for Kety SS (1962) for his description of this research, which can be downloaded for free. You will see his surprise finding that blood-flow to nuclei of the auditory pathway is higher than anywhere else in the brain!

High blood flow makes the auditory pathway more vulnerable to toxic substances in the circulation also. Look in PubMed for the paper by Oyanagi K et al. The auditory system in methyl mercurial intoxication: a neuropathological investigation on 14 autopsy cases in Niigata, Japan. Acta Neuropathol. 1989;77(6):561-8.


Hi Millie: was just wondering why your parents stopped vaccinating you as a baby? Did you react badly to one or more vaccines?

You mention you have regressions. The parents who describe regression following vaccines often have similar stories; a child/toddler who was talking normally and then had high fevers or seizures the same day or the next day after the vaccine was given, and when they recovered from the fever or seizure, the child had lost the ability to talk etc from that time on, often for the rest of their lives.
I'm guessing that is not what you mean by a regression?

You said in your comment that you are suffering right now. I 'm really sorry and hope things get better for you.


i find this absoloutley garbage autism all forms is a born with condition that is not curable this coming from a 21 year old autistic asperges that yes im sometimes regressive who hasnt had a vaccination really since i was a baby if people keep beleiving this no one will see autism as what it truly is and it saddens me as someone who suffers from it


Even if there is a cure - so what.
How are we going to talk the doctors into giving the test and apparently they don't even have a good test.

Is that right?
is this MIRSA test good enough to show up if we have it???


This is very interesting, especially about mycotoxins. Just doing some quick googling, one finds that there are specific procedures for treating biologics, including vaccine lines, w/special anti-biotics and anti-serums that work against mycotoxins - presumably to not have to throw the stuff away once you know its contaminated. (yes, I see the maggots, but I haven't eaten since breakfast, lets just rinse the meat off as best we can . . .)

Then, we can see that special products have been developed to overcome some of the treatment limitations. The advantages of the product speak directly to the problems that I guess we can assume they've already run into in some cases:

"In contrast to other anti-mycoplasma compounds, Plasmocin™ is active on both free mycoplasmas and intracellular forms. This advantage is conferred by one component of Plasmocin™ which is actively transported into mammalian cells. It ensures that following treatment with Plasmocin™ a cell culture is not reinfected by mycoplasmas released from intracellular compartments of infected cells.

In all animal cell lines tested to date, even at five times the working concentration, no apparent adverse effect on cellular metabolism is observed.

No resistance in liquid cultures of mycoplasmas has ever been identified in repeated experiments attempting to measure the mutation rate. Therefore, development of resistant mycoplasma strains is virtually eliminated.

Plasmocin™ is also active at low concentrations on a broad range of Gram positive and Gram negative bacteria that are otherwise resistant to the mixture of streptomycin and penicillin, and exhibits no toxicity in eukaryotic cells.

Many cell lines infected by mycoplasmas have been successfully treated with Plasmocin™, including embryonic stem cells, hybridomas and retrovirus packaging cells."

I wonder if that means there have already been antibiotic resistant mycoplasmas, and maybe recontamination from intra-cellular releases, i.e. after they thought it had all been cleared before? Does this happen in people when injected? Is it a continual release or a cyclical one, and what spurs it? If its been cyclical and the mycoplasma culturing tests have traditionally only gone to 28 days, what happens after 28 days? And this product works in only 2 weeks, implying other products previously took much longer to clear them. ie - like in lyme disease, a 2 week course in antibiotics ain't always gonna cut it.

If cells in our body get mycoplasma inside them, and mycoplasma feed off mitochondria, does that mean they are regenerating inside the cells and continually releasing, at which point the body is continually trying to fight an infection it can't reach because only certain antibiotic formulas can go inside cells & wouldn't that be a cause of non-stop inflammation? And wouldn't that be auto-immune? (This sounds very similar to Dr. Theo's ideas on mast cell release process and trying to stop a histimine reaction BEFORE the histimine gets released from the cell instead of afterwards, like traditional antihistimines do. What if the histimine released inside the cells is doing so to begin with fight mycoplasma that crossed into the cell wall.)

And how do mycoplasmas get INSIDE cells? Doesn't polysorbate 80 take things across/through cell walls? What other ingredients in vaccines could do that? Hasn't there been nutritional research showing that certain nutritional levels increase cell wall strength & flexibility. Would it be better, then to start the right kind of antibiotics BEFORE strengthening cell walls nutritionally. Can the right antibiotic get inside a cell better while the cell wall is weaker so that the order of applying treatments matters?

Have mycoplasmas always been in existence or are they, themselves, a result of forced mutation due to chemicals in our environment, including mercury. How about spirochets?

Is there a lab test that tests for cell wall integrity that could be used BEFORE any vaccinations are given to any baby?

Eh gads - somebody stop this train . . .


Thanks for this article Bill.

Many parents I talk to cannot grasp the concept that my son "Regressed" into Autism. Many Australians think it is a genetic trait and these children are born this way.

Over the Christmas period I had a short conversation (about Autism) with a political member and president of a government Autism group and I was astounded by the lack of knowledge they had on the subject. And these people are our children's dictators!

Elizabeth Gillespie


Vaccines contain a cocktail of toxins and nasty biological materials (bacteria, viruses, fungi, prions, foreign DNA etc). All of them work in concert to poison the children and adults.

Roger Kulp

Mycoplasma presenting as mental illness,especially schizophrenia

Lots more


Please please before you go chasing another wild goose please please read this: ,testing for mycoplasma is written into the various Pharmacoepia's and Federal Regulations, and of course this not a concern for vaccines derived from bacterial growth on heat sterilised media.

Roger Kulp

Shelley,I don't know what kind of history you have,but I do know that tuberculosis is one of those infections that can leave epigenetic changes in both methylation and immunity for generations in families.


Well done Bill and thank you - this is very interesting indeed. And great to hear treatment is now in phase 3!
Is the fact that mycoplasmas 'favour the auditory tract' have anything to do with the occurrence of ear problems in many autistic children? Leading on to antibiotic treatments which could cause further damage?
Is the full scientific paper available online? I would love to read more.
Keep going Bill!


Excellent article. Thank you!

Note that "blunted cilia" is a feature of IBD.

Carolyn Flannery

Please share the herbal remedies mentioned in this article. Thank you.


Greg; finding out "how' will give answers and provide the possibility for treatment for so many people.
There are some people who for whatever reason have a vested interest in refusing to believe vaccine injury can cause autism. Nothing we do is ever going to make them happy, but if we can confront them with facts, and causes, the reality become undeniable.
My guess is after we identify biological mechanisms ,then people are going to be able to win cases in the vaccine injury board.
maybe we will finally be able to identify susceptible sub populations.
In the end, I believe that information, science is always the way to go.
And of course, its not like asking for the vax/unvax study for 15 plus years has got much in the way of results, sadly

I'd love to see a vax/unvax study done, but if we find out what is going on through another scientific route, that is fine too.

Being accused of "shifting goal posts" by people who find fault with anything we do or say anyway, is imo the least of our worries. And "shifting goal posts" is really just another way of saying we are willing to follow the science wherever it leads...

Betty Bona

I wonder if this is why so many ASD and Fragile X kids have improved neurological symptoms with minocycline. I always thought it was due to increased IL10, but is that increased because mycoplasma infection is reduced and immune activation is thus reduced? But why would minocycline be more effective here than doxycycline? Very interesting article. Thank you.

Martin Hewitt

Thanks Bill. You should write this up as a scientific review (with references) of the different hypotheses over the last 15 years on why autism might be associated with vaccine damage. The fact that this is an exploration of hypotheses rather than a 'scientifically acceptable' review should not discourage. Nor should the fact that you and most of us are not scientists disqualify. Post it as a challenge to the medical scientific community - even if they refuse to comment it's there as a public record.

I take Greg's point that "the other side (who I believe have done their homework behind the scenes and have their answers) seize on any of these hypotheses, showing them to be lacking, and accusing us of shifting the goalposts when we request that other hypotheses be explored", and agree with his conclusions. But I would add that our response should be to point out that medical science has produced little of lasting scientific certainty, and many findings that are premature in their conclusions and soon abandoned or overtaken by new findings. The result is a body of scientific conclusions of passing value; witness the medications and treatments that are shelved 20 years or so later and the many transient fashions in medical science. This is not to deny that a minority of medical findings do produce treatments of long-term value. But Pharma picks up on the temporary advances and markets them as though they were of lasting value. And too many scientists are blind to the flimsiness of their pronouncements and silent on their exploitation by Pharma.

There is every reason why lay people motivated by the damage done to their children should engage in their own assessments of scientific hypotheses and insist on new medical research.

Sarah Ullrich

I'm interested in the twin study. I have identical twin boys. One with autism the other not.

Joan Campbell

Keep on doing what you are doing Bill, my son was also involved in the MR/MMR Uk group litigation back in 2004. Our legal aid was cruelly taken away from us 6 months before we were due in court. Our children never had any justice or their day in court.

Maurine Meleck

Thank you Bill. This is a very interesting read. Can anyone tell me why mycoplasma, according to the dictionary definition, is always specified to be related to the respiratory system only? Also we have done the mycoplasma testing with lab work using blood and with the use of antibiotics have brought my grandson's levels of mycoplasma from 1780 down to 200(the negative reading is less than .9).
Are you saying that it is not a good way to test for mycoplasma and the reading could be wrong? Can you explain the other way of testing and how it can be done?
TIA, Maurine

Bob Moffitt

"Mycoplasmas are an incredibly malicious and virulent species of bacteria and are not only extremely clever, they are very difficult to trace. Also it is most likely that should mycoplasma enter the human body’s bloodstream they will over time invade virtually any cell they choose, causing a “gradual deterioration” in the patient. And no doubt, like other pathogens, they will target cells (favoured locations) in the host, e.g. the auditory tract, the gut, and the CNS."

It sounds to me like "Mycoplasmas" could be a logical explanation for the following "Atlantic" magazine article: "Living Sick and Dying Young in Rich America"

"But it's not just that Americans are getting sicker .. it's that YOUNG Americans are getting sicker. A 2013 report by the National Research Council and Institute of Medicines echoes the shock of that fact. "The panel was struck by the gravity of its findings" it reads. "For many years, Americans have been dying younger at ages than people in almost all other high income countries". In particular .. women are less likely to live to age 50 if they're born in the US than other high income countries, he says. 'I have a chart where we show this pattern going back to 1980. Back then if you looked at the survival of women to age 50, the US was in the middle of the pack. Over time, not only has the US fallen down in the ranking, they've fallen off the chart. That's something we're trying to understand"

Odd .. the "pattern" of rising rates of young Americans getting "sicker and sicker" goes back to the 1980's .. which is sounds like the same decade where "autism and infant mortality" in the US began their "mysterious" rise.


Amazing information and sounds so plausible! Lymes disease is similar in that it hides in various places in the body. Is this also a spirochete? This is the type of information that seems like it would be a game changer for screening and treatments. It is plausible that there are many more harmful components of vaccines that are yet to be discovered... Nature's intelligence. I would say too that the billions of micro-organisms has us playing chase the germ and produce an antigen (vaccine) approach to it. Its just time for a new something that builds up the body's immune system to fight off disease rather than giving the disease to try to train the body for each one disease... This has to stop...Autism and other chronic diseases are not acceptable trade offs for vaccines.

Not an MD

Thank you for this informative article, Bill. I would like to know what herbal remedies are used to combat mycoplasma fermentans infections. Can you expand upon these, perhaps?


Shelly Sulkoske

Mycoplasms have a dark human history. I find it interesting that a type of mycoplasm was the bug invader behind tuberculosis. And, consequently, tuberculosis patients that were treated in sanitoriums back in the 30's - 50's often developed mental illness during or after their treatment. I have been personally looking into my own family history, where an aunt developed schizophrenia after being cured from tuberculosis. Could someone comment on this connection?


The problem in speculating 'how' vaccines cause autism rather than 'does' it is that we are always setting ourselves up for disaster. Whether autism is a result of mercury poisoning or pathogen mycoplasma fermentans is addressing the 'hows'. Typically, the other side (who I believe have done their homework behind the scenes and have their answers) seize on any of these hypotheses, showing them to be lacking, and accusing us of shifting the goalposts when we request that other hypotheses be explored. And, by discrediting the 'hows', they deviously imply that vaccines 'does' not cause autism. The anti-vaxx movement would be wise to tread carefully with these hypotheses on the 'hows', and, instead, stand firm with their request that the proper studies be conducted to determine whether vaccines in their totality as administered by the childhood recommended vaccination schedule is correlated with autism.


Well said Bill... being one of the parents in the former MMR litigation I can also testify that the litigants came from all corner of the UK and abroad and strangely enough mostly all had the same did that happen I wonder?


Roger Kulp

I would be interested in knowing what the percentage is where regression is not a one time thing,but something that happens over an over again whenever there is a fever,seizure,or severe allergic reaction.This was what I had to deal with,until the underlying cause of my autism was found.

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