Dachel Media Update: From Seclusion Rooms to "Calming" Rooms
Dachel Media Update: Vax Questions Never Epidemic Questions

Yes, Virginia, There Is a Damaged Microbiome in Autism

MicrobiomeNote: This post is part of an on-going series by Teresa Conrick. You can read more about the Microbiome in our "Exclusives" pull down menu.

By Teresa Conrick

On August 29th, 1931, Vivian Murdock was born in Maryland.  She was to become Case 6, Virginia S. , the eldest diagnosed of those unique childrenas reported by Dr. Leo Kanner in his famous paper from 1943  .  He changed her name and birthday as he knew her father, Dr. Harry Murdock, a fellow psychiatrist, and presumably wanted to keep the family anonymous.

Viv TC

Here is her Social Security death notice:

Vivian Murdock:

SSN: 214-82-4465

Last Residence:  21838  Marion Station, Somerset

Maryland, United States of America

Born:  29 Aug 1931

Died:  Jan 1987

State (Year) SSN issued:  Maryland (1975)

On April 14th, 2012, I “found” Virginia S. after years of searching.  Her life of institutionalization Meg Santasince 1936 was horrific and compelled me to keep up my search through volumes of documents.  Virginia S. was my Titanic, a monumental and historic tragedy of both mind and body that had clues to MAN as the culprit.  I needed to find her and thought of it as a rescue mission.  I have a daughter, like Virginia S., who has been nonverbal since regression into an autism diagnosis after her vaccinations.  State mental hospitals and institutions were the options for autism in the days of Kanner and since. In present day, we now see that the majority of cases involve REGRESSION,   with increasing numbers of parents reporting VACCINATION as the cause. I have always been intrigued by the fact that Virginia S. was born in Baltimore right when, “The city health department reported in 1931 that 'during the year the Department began the distribution of diphtheria toxoid on a large scale. ’  ” These would have been the first well-baby vaccines containing mercury.  Her family and the other seven discovered so far from those Kanner 11, each had a history of mercury exposure. Both mercury   and vaccination  can alter the microbiome. NOTE: Antibiotics were not yet in use when those first eleven children were identified.

Since 1938, when Kanner first met those children, autism has become an epidemic and a top fear for expecting parents.  Some may try to paint autism as an increasing diagnosed disability, where each individual needs to be treated with dignity.  I agree with that but we need to also add that autism is increasing due to environmental, not genetic factors and that for most, autism is a DISEASE, with true, medical markers.  It is becoming increasingly clear that the social, language and perseverative behaviors of autism are a consequence of a microbiome that is sick and that in turn affects the brain:

A new and growing area of research is finding that the bugs, especially the ones in our guts, play a critical role in human health and the development of our immune system.

Scientists say that a host of health problems, including autism, cancer, obesity, diabetes, malnutrition, Crohn's disease, asthma and rheumatoid arthritis, seem to appear when the human microbial community gets out of whack.

And this one:

Similarly, a 2013 study from Mazmanian’s lab found that a mouse model with some features of autism had much lower levels of a common gut bacterium called Bacteroides fragilis than did normal mice3. The animals were also stressed, antisocial and had gastrointestinal symptoms often seen in autism. Feeding B. fragilis to the mice reversed the symptoms. The group also found that the mice with these symptoms had higher levels of a bacterial metabolite called 4-ethylphenylsulphate (4EPS) in their blood, and that injecting that chemical into normal mice caused the same behavioural problems..

…. 4-ethylphenylsulfate, was 46 times as abundant in the mice with autism symptoms as in normal mice  .

Or this:

ASD is a collection of neurodevelopmental changes in children where they exhibit complex behavioral changes in their abilities in social interaction and communication, as well as presence of behaviors similar to obsessive–compulsive disorder, including repetitive and narrow interests. While the disease impacts the brain, gastrointestinal symptoms are commonly described in children with ASD (234, 235), and studies have identified the presence of inflammatory infiltrate and histopathology in biopsies of children with ASD, including increased numbers of cytotoxic T cells, CD19+ B-cells, and increased enteric IgG1/4 (236, 237). Possibly related to these GIT immune changes and dysfunction, some studies have demonstrated an altered composition of intestinal microbiota in young children with ASD compared to healthy control children with typical neurological function (238–242)……

….. When identifying a role for the microbiota in ASD, rather than making predictions based on taxonomic sequence data, recent studies have been studying the metabolite secretions of gut microbes and the impact of these microbiotas on host serum metabolites. A potential mechanism behind ASD symptoms could be neuro-active metabolites mediated by or produced by the microbiota, which could disseminate systemically and penetrate the blood–brain barrier.

So, we see more and more research implicating the microbiome in autism and the clues keep also hinting towards vaccines.  Here we read “infections” yet those “first days, months, and years of life” are inundated with vaccinations.

Therefore the timing of exposure to flora-altering agents (antibiotics, infection, diet) is important to understanding how and why certain autoimmune and allergic diseases develop, particularly since the interactions between flora and host are occurring on the background of an immune system that is still maturing during the first days, months, and years of life.

Here is a mention of vaccines:

In the second keynote, Dr. Maria Gloria Dominguez-Bello (New York University) (Figure 2B) spoke about the modern versus ancestral microbiome [29,30]. She described how modern practices including hygiene, antibiotics, and limited exposure to livestock have likely affected the composition of the human microbiome. She showed that people living more ancestral lifestyles, without antibiotics and vaccines, such as a previously uncontacted group of the Yanomamö Amerindian tribe in Venezuela, have a profoundly different microbiome as compared to western peoples. Their microbiomes exhibit high diversity not just in the gut, but at all body sites surveyed.

And here :

Not surprisingly, the microbiota in children under 3 years of age fluctuates substantially and is more impressionable to environmental factors than the adult microbiota (9). Modern changes in lifestyle, including improved sanitization, cesarean sections, antibiotic usage, and immunizations are among some of the factors that can shift the microbiota, and are being studied as potential drivers of the sudden increase in immune-mediated diseases in the developed world. It has been hypothesized that there is a “critical window” early in life during which the microbiota can be disrupted in a way that may favor the development of disease later in life (10).

And finally, to my relief, the dots are being connected

Using antibiotics, vaccination and even dietary supplements has the potential to cause changes in the microbiome with significant implications for health, either by killing off useful bacteria or by creating conditions which allow damaging bacteria to flourish…. We are investigating how some of the vaccines and micronutrient supplements routinely given to young children to prevent disease may cause unwanted changes in the nasopharyngeal microbiome…. The pneumococcus bacterium which colonises the back of the nose of up to 90 per cent of children in The Gambia is a leading cause of pneumonia, meningitis and sepsis. However, because the pneumococcus is so common in this country, we would like to know what the effects of eliminating or reducing its populations by vaccination are among young children. Imagine a forest with several animals such as lions, cheetahs, zebras and buffalos; what would happen if the number of lions was suddenly reduced?

If changes do occur in the microbial communities of vaccinated children, the next step will be to determine whether they are clinically important. If adverse effects are found, we may need to start finding ways to protect ourselves from disease, without changing the natural balance of our microbial communities.

I think we have to work towards finding that elusive and intricate balance between controlling the few microorganisms that cause disease without disturbing the trillions of friendly bacteria we need to function.

“Protecting ourselves from disease without changing the natural balance of our microbial communities” is a perfect plan.  There is much evidence showing that autism could be a consequence of exactly that.

From Virginia S. in 1931 to Megan Conrick in 1993, and so many children since, it’s time we put money and research into exactly that.

Teresa Conrick is Contributing Editor to Age of Autisml.


Jeff C

Hi Theresa - thanks for the link to the Yong post. I think he misses the mark in his reasoning. I would agree that there is no one specific perfect microbiome, i.e. a distinctive bacteria "signature". That's far different from distinguishing a healthy from an unhealthy microbiome. Just as ancestral communities can thrive on a wide variety of diets, they all become sick when they eat modern, processed foods. The diseases of civilization (obesity, diabetes, heart disease, etc.) soon follow. It doesn't matter if it's the high starch Kitavans or the almost zero starch Inuits, when they switch from real food to manufactured food, sickness and ill health follow.

I'm sure the Kitavans and Inuits have widely different microbiomes due to the differences in the macronutrients in their diets. As Yong says, their microbiome is suited to them. Leach's point (and that of most in the Paleo community) is not that the Hazda microbiome is the best fit for everyone, but that it is unpolluted. It resulted from a lifetime of eating real food rather manufactured garbage masquerading as food. They have not had multiple rounds of broad spectrum antibiotics, vaccines, or a lifetime of chlorinated water. If one believes the microbiome plays a key role in human health (as I do), you can't escape the fact that these hunter gatherer societies rarely have heart attacks or cancer, and don't have autism. The point is not acquiring a Hazda microbiome, but shedding the modern American microbiome that almost certainly plays a role in chronic disease.

You have probably already read it, but of not I'd highly recommend Weston Price's work, "Nutrition and Physical Degeneration". It's 75 years old but still a masterpiece. It's not that there is one "right" diet, but there is definitely a wrong one. Seems to me the same thing applies to the microbiome.

I really don't know much about Ed Yong, but my first cynical reaction to articles like these is "pharma shill". Fecal transplants threaten to revolutionize health care and put large portions of the medical establishment out of business. Pulling up his bio, I do see ties to the medical industry. It's probably not even a conscious bias, but how he and others with an establishment medical background have been trained to think.

BTW, please keep up the great work. We are going to figure this out.


Head of Health Evidence and Information, Cancer Research UK (2004-2010)

Led the Evidence and Information team, a group of six people with scientific backgrounds who ensure that the charity’s information on cancer prevention and early detection is evidence-based and up-to-date

Edited and fact-checked writing from across the charity for consistency and accuracy, including press releases, web content, publications, copy from corporate partners, health campaigns, policy statements and more.

Developed extensive knowledge of cancer prevention, early detection and health communication, and provided consultation and training on these topics to other departments in the charity, and to partner organisations.

Reviewed evidence on key topics in cancer prevention and early detection and provided monthly internal updates

Communicated about cancer prevention and early detection through print resources and web content (including our award-winning Science Update blog)

Media spokeperson: gave over 100 TV, radio and phone interviews and hundreds of written comments.

Contributed to strategic direction of Health Information Department


I going to get me a turkey baster -- and some drugs to knock out my bunch - cause let's face it they would rather die-- but I think I would go to Canada to that lab were the woman is raising them up in a robogut

Cause you know - that is the western way of thinking - And the robogut will have "All" we need and no more than we need.

We think???? Come to think of it though we always seem to miss the mark - when it comes to ecology. YOu think it might be just too hard for us? I always thought so when we were worked for the forest service and they would go back and plant a few species of trees on empty land. Seems like when nature did it - so much more diverse and in the end of a 10 year period so much more healthier.

But healthy tribesmen and a turkey baster -- Well; no more crazier than my professor years ago all impressed and suprised that they could figure out which flu bug to make a vaccine for - each year.


Wow to the both of your last two post!

Teresa Conrick

Hi Jeff C,

Yes, I was following the Jeff Leach work. The blogger, Ed Yong has been writing about how there is no healthy microbiome. He included Jeff Leach here in the NYT -


Jeff C

Looking forward to more posts on the microbiome and potential treatments. The really compelling aspects of fecal transplants are the demonstrated high success rates in treating pathogenic bacteria overgrowth (like C. difficule), the low cost, and the fact that no specialized medical equipment is required. The most difficult part is finding a healthy donor. Even that probably doesn't require much more than a lifestyle evaluation and possible a stool analysis to screen for parasites.

Here's a couple of intriguing posts from Jeff Leach over at the Human Food Project (a Paleo nutrition blog). Leach has been living with Hadza hunter-gatherer tribesmen in Africa for year as part of his research on the microbiome in ancestral communities. In this post, Leach describes a DIY fecal transplant he gave himself from one of the tribesmen:


Here's he describes how his microbiome changed over time after living with the Hazda:


This guy would have been dismissed as a nut ten years ago. Today he's a N=1 medical trailblazer.


Good article. What I would like to remind people, however, is that autism shows up in many different ways with people. Not all are OK and then regress maybe due to vaccines. Maybe most of cases of autism are due to vaccines but consider that maybe not all. My son was born with autism, crying, and difficult to manage from the start and things just never changed except he did learn to say things using one or two words but remaining largely nonverbal. But his bowels are paralyzed. He was making progress in an institution with toileting but they did away with working on it, not telling me, as they made me rejoice telling me he was toilet trained. He never WAS. We need to keep researching autism and not jumping to any conclusion about what causes it. There is a lot more to it, I believe, than meets the eye and we keep learning. We learned from this little girl of the past. I am still learning about autism and my son age 41 now. What will they say about him in the future. I wonder.

White Rose

My compliments to Jeff C .
Best comments I've seen on AoA in a while .

You should be allowed & encouraged to write a piece here imho .

Teresa Conrick

Hi Jeff C.

I couldn't agree more. Stay tuned as I hope to write about that topic (fecal transplants etc. ) before the new year.

Jeff C

It seem clear that an altered microbiome is at least a major contributor if not the cause of autism. I've been fascinated with the work of Dr. Derrick MacFabe's team up at the University of Western Ontario. Their mouse model implicates propionic acid, a seemingly innocuous short chain fatty acid produced by bacterial fermentation of carbohydrates. Mice injected with propionic acid act autistic until the compound is processed out of their system. Our kids seem to have too many of certain bugs that produce large quantities of propionic acid (e.g. clostridium) as shown by Dr. Sydney Finegold and others.

Dr MacFabe's team (and an associated research group in Saudi Arabia) don't promote a protocol (sadly there's no quicker way to be labeled as quacks) but they do give us clues as to what they think might work in their writing:

Reduce the offending bacteria count - probiotics, fermented foods

Reduce the bacteria substrate - a low carbohydrate diet

Assist the body in removing propionic acid - carnitine to conjugate it and mark it for excretion (see the literature on propionic acidemia, an inborn error of metabolism that causes excess propionic acid accumulation)

Assist the cells in dealing with propionic acids toxic effects - omega-3 fatty acids (fish oil), carnitine, N-acetyl cysteine, mitochondria support (again propionic acidemia literature is helpful)

Nothing on this list will be surprising to anyone familiar with ARI, DAN, and GAPS, but it's fascinating to read their work and gain insight into the potential mechanism. Our son had improved remarkably due to biomedical, but continued to be plagued with verbal apraxia, quirkiness, and motor coordination issues. We've fine-tuned his regimen the last six months assuming Dr. MacFabe's hypothesis is correct and the results have been very promising. His apraxia is gone and he's riding a two wheel bike for the first time. He's also more sociable and readily initiates conversations. Every day is a little better than the last, the improvement is steady and continuing. For the very first time I feel like we're methodically on track rather than just trying different things to see what might help.

This really has me wondering about the potential for a fecal transplant to eliminate the presumed root cause rather than just treating symptoms. There's a bit of an underground movement (no pun intended) among some of the alternate health communities experimenting with DIY versions, but I haven't seen much regarding ASD kids. Seems like that's where we'll ultimately end up with all of this. As usual, it will the parents that lead and the medical industry that belatedly follows.

For White Rose

White Rose

It is certainly worth continuing to make the point that this is an industrial disease unidentified before 1942 when the official line is that it has been around and it is just better recognition.

Jeannette Bishop

We're possibly living at the crest of the wave of effects of a war on germs paradigm. Along with over-prescription of anti-biotics, there was the huge anti-bacterial movement in other products around the time my children were born in the mid and late 90s, at least that's when I became more aware of it. The hand sanitizers, the new soap formulations (soaps we can't use in humanitarian hygiene kits to "third world countries" because they would make them very sick), infant toys claiming to be "anti-bacterial." I never felt right about most of that, though I also wonder if the bulk of the difficult of re-establishing a healthy gut biome comes from having an immune system trained to destroy the good guys through vaccination "side-effects," possibly with repeated boosting of this undesirable programming whenever an adjuvant-like compound is introduced or possibly when the body is attempting to clear such exposure through the gut?

Perhaps some beneficial information could be obtained by observing the effect on the gut microbiome after injection of thimerosal and aluminum adjuvants in combination?

White Rose

I think they call this Black comedy :


White Rose

Teresa , so there were 12 of them in 1943 .
AoA , Is there really any point dweling on 1943 any longer ?
How many are there today in 2014 (autistics)? 50M+ ?

1943 , really , what is the point ?
Kanner was no genius , he was miles off . He didnt solve anything , he just described a new condition .

We are the ones who are living it .And our children .
And we know what caused it . And we know its deliberate .


Clever title for the month of December and for a little girl that was lost .

I hope they don't spend the rest of my adult children's lives to find some answers and those metabolites?

Jill Fenech

Thank you Teresa. It doesn't sound crazy to put our money toward healing in a different way. It sounds like common sense - especially in light of all the money that has been thrown at studies for eye gazing, living too close to the freeway, older dads, etc. Of course, common sense is not so common. Also, probably not a great return on investment for the pharma/CDC bunch.

beth johnson

Did I miss something? What is MAN?

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)