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Further Thoughts about Developing Autoimmune Diseases from Vaccination

Some years ago, I researched the implications of what might happen to vaccinated dogs in a Purdue University study who developed autoantibodies to their own biochemicals. 

Specifically, the Purdue team found autoantibodies to fibronectin, laminin, DNA, albumin, cytochrome C, cardiolipin and collagen.  Autoantibodies are essentially biochemicals that attack self tissue.


Unfortunately, the study dogs were disposed of and no follow-up was conducted by the Purdue team.  So I searched the internet for scientific references to autoantibodies in relation to each of these biochemicals.  I found many references to illustrate that autoantibodies lead to autoimmune diseases and cancer, and complete derangement of the immune system.  


When I originally wrote-up my findings, I sent them via email to the researcher, who led the Purdue team which found these autoantibodies, and asked him to comment.  His response was startling.  Although he didn’t address the science of my findings, he did appear to be hot under the collar about dog owners who choose not to vaccinate their dogs.  Having asked him to comment on the implication of these autoantibodies, I remained none the wiser with regard to his thoughts.


I have to speak frankly here and ask whether he actually disagreed with my research, or whether his funding, coming heavily (as it does with all research scientists) from the pharmaceutical industry, influences his actions and responses?  Please don’t read this as a personal attack on him, but as a criticism of the way in which industry might dictate the research agenda.   


More recently, the author responded to a request for his comments from someone who had read my previous article.  He said : “I think this is how some individuals deal with death or illness of a pet or child.  They try to rationalize what happened by placing the blame on physicians or veterinarians rather than on the genetics or environmental factors.  Many of Catherine O’Driscoll’s conclusions make no sense to me, whether they relate to autoantibody production following vaccination of dogs or the need for Leptospirosis vaccination which she often challenges”.


It would be good to speak directly to him about the actual science relating to autoantibody production.   In absence of this, I would draw readers’ attention to the following link.  This relates to a scholarly scientific book called ‘Autoantibodies’ by Y Schoenfeld, ME Gershwin, and PL Meroni.  

It’s perhaps worth looking at some extracts here:


“Autoimmune diseases are characterized by the presence of auto-reactive lymphocytes in affected tissues and circulating autoantibodies, immunoglobulins reacting against self-antigens.”  Translated, this means that autoantibodies are associated with autoimmune disease.  


“The mere detection of autoantibodies in an asymptomatic person or in an apparently healthy subject should not be neglected.  It is now appreciated that autoantibodies may predict the eventual development of a full-blown autoimmunity, such as specific HLA, IgA and complement components deficiencies.”  Translated, this means that we should take note of the presence of autoantibodies, since they indicate that full-blown autoimmune disease may follow.    


“Involvement of autoantibodies in disease progression and complications, especially in the form of immunocomplexes, is widely accepted.”  Translated, this probably means that Catherine O’Driscoll wasn’t making it up!


“Although thyroid autoantibodies are uncommon in children, we noticed that the siblings of our juvenile thyroid disease patients had high prevalence of thyroid autoantibodies.  Following six initially euthyroid [normal thyroid function] brothers and sisters for a decade we found that a high proportion who were antibody positive later developed biochemical evidence of impaired thyroid function … the presence of autoantibodies even in clinically normal individuals may sometimes represent an early warning signal of impending disease.”  Translated, this means that children with thyroid autoantibodies weren’t disposed of like dogs, but research continued for at least another ten years.  The research found that the presence of autoantibodies years earlier could lead to thyroid disease itself.  


In a separate piece of research which cites the autoantibody study (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2002;221:515–521), it is stated:  


“In the research Beagles, there was a significant increase in anti-bovine thyroglobulin antibodies in all vaccinated dogs, compared with control dogs.  There was a significant increase in anti-canine thyroglobulin antibodies in the 2 groups of dogs that received the rabies vaccine but not in the group that received the multivalent vaccine alone. In the pet dogs, there was a significant increase in anti-canine thyroglobulin antibodies after vaccination but no significant change in anti-bovine thyroglobulin antibodies.


Conclusions and Clinical RelevanceRecent vaccination may result in increased anti-canine thyroglobulin antibodies. Whether these antibodies have a deleterious effect on canine thyroid function is unknown.”


Here’s my take on this which, as a non-scientist, I appreciate may stray from the established norm: if you’re going to do the research, and you find changes which suggests that animals are developing autoantibodies after they are vaccinated, don’t you think you’d better take the research to its conclusion and find out what this means?  


To be fair, it only took me one rainy afternoon to find that scientists have asked the questions and found some answers relating to the presence of autoantibodies.  Why did this team of researchers not take the study to its important conclusion, or at least look up the many existing references to the presence of autoantibodies?  Why were they still unaware of the fact that anti-thyroid antibodies can lead to thyroid disease?  


The author finished his critique of my work with:

“My take is that there are impurities in animal vaccines that result in autoantibody production and allergic reactions following vaccination.  Dog and cat vaccines are admittedly less pure than most human vaccines but the trade-off is a significantly lower cost.  I suppose if pet owners were willing to pay $50 or more per dose of vaccine the situation might be improved, but on the other hand many less dogs and cats would ever be immunized. So all and all I think animal vaccine companies are doing a good job as are veterinarians in providing preventive health care. Are dog and cat vaccines safe? Yes, but we could do better.”


Again with respect to the highly acclaimed author, I am stupefied by this paragraph.  He is actually saying that dog vaccines are less pure than human vaccines, but this is OK because we pet owners won’t want to pay more for purer vaccines.  Vaccines are safe, but they could be safer.  He appears to be saying that we are happy to put our dogs at risk of autoimmunity and allergies so long as we can save some money.


This is a preposterous proposition.  The veterinary vaccine industry needs to understand that pet owners pay to vaccinate their dogs because they really, really love them.  We want to protect them, and to honour their lives with our care.  We don’t want to put them at risk of disease at the same time.  Were we to understand that we are injecting sub-standard products – with impurities – into our dogs, that will cause autoantibodies and allergies, we probably wouldn’t inject them.  


I would also point out that the veterinary vaccine industry is a multi-billion, international, highly profitable, blossoming, growing, business.  Is it too much to ask that the products they sell us might be free from contaminants?  They can afford it.  Would we buy food knowing that it’s full of salmonella, excusing the manufacturer because at least the food was cheap?  


In fact, vaccine contamination is a real problem if you want to be able to take your dog to the vet for a jab in the sure knowledge that he isn’t going to die as a result of it.   Last year (2010), for example, researchers in Scotland and Japan isolated a feline retrovirus in both dog and cat vaccines.  (Isolation of an Infectious Endogenous Retrovirus in a Proportion of Live Attenuated Vaccines for Pets, Journal of Virology, April 2010, p. 3690-3694, Vol. 84, No. 7.) http://jvi.asm.org/cgi/content/full/84/7/3690http://jvi.asm.org/cgi/content/full/84/7/3690


The authors stated: “the current methods used for screening human vaccines for retroviral contaminants include extremely sensitive PCR-based RT assays (not required for veterinary vaccines) that are much more sensitive than conventional RT assays”.

The authors added:
“In this study, we isolated a feline infectious ERV (RD-114) in a proportion of live attenuated vaccines for pets. Overall, it is possible that our data under-represent the number of vaccines from which RD-114 can be isolated….


“Collectively, our data show unequivocally that RD-114 is present in live attenuated vaccines commonly used in dogs and cats from different continents and produced by three different manufacturers… the large-scale exposure to RD-114, particularly of the dog population, may have effects that are impossible to predict even if successful RD-114 transmission was an extremely rare event.


“Millions of puppies are vaccinated annually worldwide, and they may be more susceptible to RD-114 infection than cats as the dog genome does not harbor RD-114. … it is impossible to rule out chronic effects, especially as we were able to grow RD-114 very efficiently in dog cell lines, confirming older published studies….


The study concluded that:


  •    Future studies will be necessary to determine whether RD-114 has any negative impact in cats or dogs….
  •    A recently identified novel human retrovirus (xenotropic murine leukemia virus-related retrovirus [XMRV]) has been found in some forms   of prostate cancers and chronic fatigue syndrome in humans
  •   sensitive PCR-based RT assays [as used in this study] are not required for veterinary vaccines

Writing in US Dog World, March, 1995, Dr Jean W Dodds offers some clarification on the implication of retrovirus contamination in dog vaccines:


“Immune–suppressant viruses of the retrovirus and parvovirus classes have recently been implicated as causes of bone marrow failure, immune-mediated blood diseases, haematologic malignancies (lymphoma and leukaemia), dysregulation of humoral and cell-mediated immunity, organ failure (liver, kidney) and autoimmune endocrine disorders – especially of the thyroid gland (thyroiditis), adrenal gland (Addison’s disease) and pancreas (diabetes). Viral disease and recent vaccination with single or combination modified live virus vaccines, especially those containing distemper, adenovirus 1 or 2 and parvovirus, are increasingly recognised contributors to immune-mediated blood diseases, bone marrow failure and organ dysfunction.”


So a feline retrovirus in their vaccines could cause serious problems for our dogs – but don’t worry, because it means we get ‘cheap’ vaccines!  According to UK Kennel Club research, one in four dogs in the UK can be expected to die of cancer. Retroviruses are implicated in this scenario.


Retroviruses were first associated with malignant disease in animals more than ninety years ago. In 1908 the Danish veterinarians Ellerman and Bang observed that erythroleukaemia is infectiously transmissible in chickens. Then in 1911, Rous in USA and in 1914, Fujinami in Japan showed that some avian sarcomas could be transmitted by inoculation of cell-free filtrates.


“On many occasions during vertebrate evolution, retroviruses have infected cells of the host’s germ-line, destined to become the eggs and sperm. In this way the integrated DNA provirus can be passed on to the next generation without undergoing further viral replication. Such genetically transmitted retroviral genomes are called endogenous retroviruses (ERV) to distinguish them from exogenous, infectiously transmitted retroviruses.”


When we vaccinate our dogs, can we be sure we’re not injecting inheritable cancer?  And what are the authorities doing about it?  I can tell you:  they’re allowing the vaccine manufacturers to take their time – years – before screening it out.  Why?  Not because it’s impossible to screen retroviruses out relatively quickly – but because it takes years to re-license the clean products.  


As to the Purdue study, and my article concerning the implications of autoantibodies generated by veterinary vaccines, I received an email from Andrew Maniotis, Ph.D., Visiting Associate Professor of Bioengineering: Program of tumor mechanics and tissue regeneration, University of Illinois at Chicago:


“I don’t think it is coincidental that two of the molecules that the vets find (especially the tissue-controlling two molecules laminin and fibronectin) that are deregulated in vaccine-induced, cancer-harboring animals, are the same ones we have found reverse, kill, or promote tumours [in humans].


“It is logical that these two tissue constructing molecules in the correct or incorrect amounts induce tumor dormancy or killing as we have found, and at different amounts  (as when a vaccine disturbs a tissue and fibronectin is produced in abundance while laminin is suppressed) they can, when not in proper amounts, induce tumor growth and  metastasis.


“I estimate that, if thousands of cats/year develop tumors at the site(s) of their vaccinations as these vet societies now claim, and nobody knows how many dogs do, although other studies show they also develop a variety of cancers, accompanied by the production of anti-fibronectin, anti-laminin, anti-collagen, anti-cardiolipin, and anti-DNA antibodies associated with immediate onset arthritis, autoimmune diseases of all kinds, demyelination syndromes, hematological pathologies, etc., that perhaps The Church of Modern Human Medicine someday will become concerned regarding the 1:160 autism rate, rates of diabetes, asthma, and also, just maybe, the escalating cancer rates in our children and other humans following the mass vaccine crusades of the past 40 years.”


My own thoughts are that if scientists are going to conduct studies which find anomalies in our dogs’ biochemicals, they should feel honour bound to ascertain what these anomalies actually mean to the lives – or deaths – of our dogs.  For rather than being an embittered grieving dog lover, I am simply asking that we honour the lives of the animals in our care and become knowledgeable about what we do to them in the name of love.  


The unwanted effects of vaccines are seen in the field, after humans and animals have been vaccinated; after they are forced to live with vaccine-induced illness, and after vaccines have killed the people and animals they were purported to help. Is that good enough?  


And so, I make no apology for researching and publishing the known science in relation to the implication of autoantibodies generated by the vaccine process.  Someone needs to!  


There is far more to vaccination than a trip to the vets and the insertion of a needle would imply.  There is far too much we do not know about vaccine effects – but we do it anyway.  Animal guardians have the right to informed consent.  At the very least, if we are going to vaccinate, we have a right to truthful duration of immunity information from our veterinarians and the pharmaceutical industry so that we vaccinate no more often than is necessary.