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Pesticides, The Microbiome and Autism

Microbiome7By Teresa Conrick

If you have been following the research over the past decade, AUTISM has been skyrocketing with a male preponderance of approximately 4 males to every 1 female diagnosed. Many in the trenches of research have been making strides in showing that TOXINS seem to affect males at a higher rate .  A new study on the MICROBIOME shows that a well known Pesticide, the Organophosphate, Diazinon , which has been around for YEARS can damage the bacteria of the Microbiome.

This Significant For AUTISM?  

Yes, it is.    June, 2014. Organophosphate pesticides and autism

The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences published a report this week linking prenatal exposure to organophosphate pesticides with a higher risk of autism. The study found that children whose mothers lived within a mile of fields treated with an organophosphate pesticide during their pregnancy were 60% more likely to develop autism spectrum disorders than children whose mothers did not live near treated fields.

Pesticides are not only in the air and soil but of course in the foods bought at stores. This research may be a good yet scary glimpse of how a toxin can cause damage to the Microbiome.  Children are small, infants smaller and a fetus.... so vulnerable. They are all exposed numerous times to environmental toxins and research keeps showing that these chemicals can do harm. The research done on the effects of vaccination on the BRAIN and the Microbiome are limited as it is a controversial topic . It is not hard to see that the same mechanisms can be at play when a vaccine, a toxin, or a poison damages the Microbiome, which we now know to be KEY in the development of the immune system and the brain.

Gender-Specific Effects of Organophosphate Diazinon on the Gut Microbiome and Its Metabolic Functions                                                                    

Some pertinent highlights for Autism:

■     There is growing recognition of the significance of the gut microbiome to human health, and the association between a perturbed gut microbiome with human diseases has been established. 

■     The wide agricultural use of diazinon, an organophosphate insecticide, has raised serious environmental health concerns since it is a potent neurotoxicant.

■     With studies demonstrating the presence of a microbiome-gut-brain axis, it is possible that gut microbiome perturbation may also contribute to diazinon toxicity. 

■     Diazinon exposure perturbed the gut microbiome community structure, functional metagenome, and associated metabolic profiles in a gender-specific manner. 

■     Of particular significance, these changes were more pronounced for male mice than females. 

■     We have identified a number of bacterial genera perturbed by diazinon exposure. In general, several genera of Lachnospiraceae family decreased in both male and female animals. Lachnospiraceae is an important bacterial family involved in the production of short chain fatty acids, and patients with depressive disorders have been reported to be associated with reduced Lachnospiraceae

■     ...the prevalence of several potentially pathogenic bacteria was only observed in treated male mice. For instance, the Burkholderiales order comprises several families of Gram-negative bacteria, which have been implicated in human diseases including respiratory infections, chronic granulomatous disease and inflammatory bowel disease

That is important in AUTISM research and though some organizations and researchers may try to say girls are just UNDER-diagnosed and that is why we see less females, the increasing evidence of toxic harm should bring that poorly designed hypothesis to an end.

.... the emerging concept of a microbiome-gut-brain axis, studies are revealing how the gut microbiome is connected with nervous system disorders including autism, depression, anxiety and stress, and how microbiome-related products could modulate these disorders. 

And in keeping with Dan's extensive and excellent research on ARSENIC and Polio, the above pesticide study states -  we recently have demonstrated that arsenic exposure not only alters the gut microbiome community at the abundance level but also disturbs its metabolic profiles.

This is cutting edge research showing how the Microbiome may very well be the origin of devastating diseases, with Autism now leading the way.

                                                         Pesticides Significantly Damage the Microbiome

Knowing that, this study on ORGANOPHOSPHATES from 2010 also may shed more light on the Microbiome:

Study: A Link Between Pesticides and ADHD

Studies linking environmental substances to disease are coming fast and furious....A new study in the journal Pediatrics associates exposure to pesticides with cases of ADHD in the U.S. and Canada. In the U.S. alone, an estimated 4.5 million children ages 5 to 17 have been diagnosed with ADHD, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and rates of diagnosis have risen 3% a year between 1997 and 2006....researchers based at the University of Montreal and Harvard University examined the potential relationship between ADHD and exposure to certain toxic pesticides called organophosphates. The team analyzed the levels of pesticide residue in the urine of more than 1,100 children ages 8 to 15 and found that those with the highest levels of dialkyl phosphates, which are the breakdown products of organophosphate pesticides, had the highest incidence of ADHD. Overall, they found a 35% increase in the odds of developing ADHD with every tenfold increase in urinary concentration of the pesticide residue. The effect was seen even at the low end of exposure: kids who had any detectable, above-average level of the most common pesticide metabolite in their urine were twice as likely as those with undetectable levels to record symptoms of the learning disorder.

ADHD is also more prevalent in males than females

Think of this type of research as an illustrated example of how bacteria can be transformed by toxins and the MICROBIOME damaged: More from the Organophosphate - Diazinon study:

■     Of particular interest, diazinon induced gender-specific effects on the gut microbiome

■     .... a total of 19 bacterial genera were altered in male mice, with 9 and 10 being increased and decreased, respectively, while a total of 13 bacterial genera were changed in female mice, with the majority being reduced

Then there's MERCURY, another toxin that has a long history of both agricultural and medical exposures..

Its effect on the MICROBIOME continues to be explored - Xenobiotics: Interaction with the Intestinal Microflora 

...a study published in 1993 was the first to show the effects of mercury exposure on the gut microbiome. This study reported that mercury exposure altered the gut community structure by increasing both the abundance of mercury-resistant bacteria—several of which were also antibiotic resistant—as well as antibiotic-resistant plasmids in the GM of monkeys (Summers et al. 1993). A later study employing 16S rRNA profiling of the gut microbiome of Porcellio scaber (an isopod) not only confirmed that mercury exposure increased the abundance of mercury-resistant bacteria, but also found that mercury exposure completely eliminated Bacteroidetes and elevated levels of Actinobacteria, Betaproteobacteria, and Alphaproteobacteria (Lapanje et al. 2010). Though the former study did not detail the implications of these changes to promoting disease, a recent epidemiological study found that probiotics have a protective effect against increases to blood levels of mercury in pregnant women (Bisanz et al. 2014), suggesting that modulation of a mercury-exposed gut microbiome could possibly counter the effects of mercury-exposure-related disease.

As we examine this concept of toxins affecting the Microbiome in Autism, some closing thoughts: 

■      "Like mercury, arsenic may be converted to more mobile and toxic methyl derivatives by bacteria"  

■     ......it is possible that gut microbiome perturbation may also contribute to diazinon toxicity, meaning children may become MORE vulnerable to a pesticide if damage has already happened to the Microbiome.

■    Autism more common among children whose moms lived near treated fields during pregnancy; experts redouble advice to avoid exposure.   “It reinforces the advice of public health experts and doctors to minimize exposure to these chemicals during pregnancy.”  Pregnancy may NOT be the ONLY time to avoid pesticides based on the above research.  Buying organic is important, it' s a choice yet mandating vaccines gives no choice to parents.

■   Antibiotics in our food supply may also be contributing to messing up the bacteria in the Microbiome.  

■   In 1931, the earliest child born who later was diagnosed with "Infantile Autism" , Virginia S., was born.  We found out her identity and the connections to mercury, pesticides and vaccines were a significant part of her history.  Have these increasing exposures caused the epidemic cases today? 


Organophosphate pesticides have been around for over 50 years yet the increase and skyrocketing cases of Autism began in the early 1990's, as the vaccination schedule began its increasing ascent.  The exposures in childhood of Man-made Microbiome dangers -- VACCINATIONS -- MERCURY -- ANTIBIOTICS --  PESTICIDES have reached a fevered pitch. Parents are demanding change.



When science no longer supports humanity, it is no longer science.

The inhumane practices that are being inflicted on our babies should make us all shudder.

Thank You, Thank You, Thank You!!!!!! SO MUCH Ms Conrick for all the information you impart!!!!!


Video with someone interviewing Topol about "citizen scientists" and the microbiome. Have not watched it personally yet.

Title makes it sound like it would be on topic.



I would love to see this country set a healthy people 2030 goal of reducing pesticides.
France is struggling with its goal but at least they're trying.


Thank-you for getting this important information out there in the public!

Here's another article discussing different reactions in the micro biome based on gender.

One of the differences observed was maybe also pertinent to the reader feedback in Dan's arsenic-contaminated sugar/polio series: "Furthermore, while males treated with pro-inflammatory BM36304 developed higher serum levels of TNF-α and insulin, in contrast females did not experience such effects from this bacteria strain."

And another: "Sex differences in the gut micro biome drive hormone-dependent regulation of autoimmunity"


National Institute of Environmental Health is part of the National Institute of Health. Yeah, the same NIH that has those IACC meetings that won't allow any studies linking autism to the environment - only genetics.


At this point in time how you would figure out if a kid lived close to a sprayed field has a 60 percent more chance of developing autism? How did they figure that one? Where was this place or places? I mean since autism is everywhere to begin with. Does it mean that the rural kids have more autism than urban and suburban kids?

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