By Suzanne Humphries, MD and Roman Bystrianyk – VRAN Newsletter, Fall 2013
Before the vaccine era, naturally acquired disease usually provided comprehensive long-term immunity because natural immunity involves a more broad-spectrum response to the entirety of the bacteria and their toxins. Remember that being immune to any degree does not stop the bacteria from flying around and entering the air-way. When a naturally immune person reencounters whooping cough bacteria, the body will efficiently respond and clear them from the system. This is not necessarily true of vaccinated people.
The concept of original antigenic sin (OAS) was coined by Dr. Thomas Francis, who became well known during the Salk vaccine era when he oversaw and interpreted the results of the largest (and most controversial) vaccine trial in history. He explained the phenomenon of OAS using natural influenza virus as an example. 551
First, let’s define how the body responds to natural infection. When a person gets an infectious disease for the first time, the body’s immune system uses its innate powers, which mostly involve cellular immunity. In the process, it prepares for the future. The next time that same infectious agent comes around, the body will use its memory of the first experience so that it can react faster.
But after a vaccine, when the natural microorganism comes along later, the body will act according to how it was programmed by the vaccination and that is what is meant by original antigenic sin (OAS).
When it comes to B. pertussis, OAS is very important and well described. The bacteria secrete several toxins, one of which only emerges after the infection takes place. That is called adenylate cyclase toxin (ACT). Once whooping cough bacteria attach to cells in the bronchi, a gene in the bacteria switches on, and ACT, which acts like a force field against the immune system, is produced. ACT stops the immune system from recognizing the bacteria by acting as an anti-inflammatory and antiphagocytic factor.
This gives the bacteria about a two-week advantage until the immune system wakes up to the fact that it has been duped. In the case of natural whooping cough immunity, ACT forms the basis of the initial immune response. That front-line immune response is not only critical for eliminating the first round of pertussis bacteria, but it is also crucial for removing bacteria upon later reinfection.
In natural immunity, the body reacts very strongly to ACT, but because of original antigenic sin and the absence of ACT in the vaccine, the vaccinated are not programmed to respond to it at all. Vaccines do not boost antibody to this toxin, because as of yet, nobody has figured how to put that antigen into the vaccine. The naturally convalesced have more than 17 times the amount of antibody to ACT than DTaP recipients and more than 9 times than DTP vaccinated, as measured after pertussis infection.552 There is only a miniscule level of ACT antibody in the vaccinated, which is the result of the immune system’s paralyzed effort to mount a response after programming by the vaccine.
When a vaccinated person contracts pertussis again, the bacteria can get a good hold because there is little to stop them. The immune system will not respond to ACT in the future, because the programming has been set by the first contact (which was the needle, not the bacteria). Dr. Cherry admitted as much in his 2010 paper.
“Of particular interest is the lack of a significant ACT antibody response in children for whom the DTP or DTaP vaccines failed. This induced tolerance is intriguing and may be due to the phenomenon called “original antigenic sin.” 553
Cherry later sanitized the wording when referring to the phenomenon. His new terminology, which pointed to the exact same problem, was changed to “linked epitope suppression.”
“In a previous study, it was observed that children who were DTaP vaccine failures had a blunted antibody response to the nonvaccine antigen ACT, whereas unvaccinated children with pertussis had a vigorous antibody response to this antigen . . . Linked epitope suppression applies as the immune response to the new epitopes is suppressed by the strong response to the original vaccine components.” 554
This was later affirmed by another doctor in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
“The lesser protection pro-vided by DTaP, both as the initial vaccine or full primary course, may be due to linked epitope suppression, when the initial exposure locks in the immune response to certain epitopes and inhibits response to other linked epitopes on subsequent exposures.” 555
The reason immunologists and vaccine scientists don’t talk about original antigenic sin is because if they had to explain to the public just what it means in principle and in practical fact, they’d have to explain that vaccination breaches a fundamental immunological tenet. They would have to admit that whooping cough vaccine immunity is vastly inferior and that vaccine immunity has immunologic unintended consequences in the future. As an aside, OAS was also a factor in morbidity of the influenza vaccinated when H1N1 infection arrived. 556 557
Dr. Humphries: I’ve personally seen, in unvaccinated families, one child have clinical whooping cough, and the other children did not. When those children had their blood antibodies measured to see if they were going to be a risk to their schoolmates, they were measured as having had experience with pertussis by IgG or both IgM and IgG. In retrospect, some mothers could recall a cold-like illness, and others could not. I mention the fact that they were unvaccinated, not because I believe that is the reason they were infected, but because I believe that is the reason the children had subclinical infections that went unrecognized, and they developed immunity.
The other reason ACT is important is that it is also a component to parapertussis. If you have recovered naturally from B. pertussis, you have high levels of ACT immunity that not only protect you from B. pertussis but also are active against B. parapertussis and, of course, you won’t get that from a vaccine.
Far from being eliminated as a disease, whooping cough is endemic in highly vaccinated populations. It is important to understand that the pertussis vaccine can only prevent serious infection in some vaccinated people, but it will never prevent carriage and spread in anyone, vaccinated or not. Because of original antigenic sin, the vaccinated will be unable to clear the bacteria as efficiently and, thus, are more likely to be vectors for the disease.
Most people believe that all whooping cough is a serious and easily identifiable disease of children. But the truth is that whooping cough circulates freely, often without ever making a peep.
“. . . the shortfall in reported disease was due largely to atypical, asymptomatic or forgotten infections. First, recent authors have estimated that an appreciable proportion (e.g. 25%) of infections are asymptomatic (Linneman, 1979), and B. pertussis has repeatedly been isolated from symptomless individuals (Broome, Fraser & English, 1979; Broome et al. 1981; Lambert, 1965; PHLS, 1969). Secondly, given the varied spectrum of clinical response to B. pertussis infection, it is reasonable to suppose that some attacks will not be recognized as whooping-cough.” 558
The mainstream media only reports, by and large, the supposedly deadly nature of whooping cough. However, in actuality, most cases of pertussis are mild and probably escape reporting.
“Rates of reported pertussis are 40 to 160-fold less than actual illness rates, and asymptomatic infections are 4–22 times more common than symptomatic infections.” 559
Portraying disease as severe, whether it is or not, is admittedly done because it helps to increase vaccine uptake. Recent CDC PowerPoint presentations 560 reveal this tactic with influenza, and doctors have written about it regarding pertussis as well.
“Publicity given to the more severe consequences of whooping cough has created a widely held perception that the disease is always severe, debilitating, and dangerous. Such a perception helps to encourage immunization, but if untrue it degrades diagnostic accuracy . . . 561
There was the fear that this would interfere with many other forms of immunization which are far more beneficial and important to the infant. Those who expressed their disagreement with the broadcast conclusions stated that it might have the effect of increasing the incidence of death from pertussis and urged and secured publicity of opinions favoring continued use of the vaccine.” 562
By the mid-1900s, whooping cough deaths had declined by more than 99 percent. The fact that all infectious disease mortality had also declined was noted in a report by Gordon T. Stewart in 1981.
Historically, the dominant and obvious fact is that most, if not all, major communicable diseases have become less serious in all developed countries for 50 years or more. Whooping cough is no exception. It has behaved in this respect like measles and similarly to scarlet fever and diphtheria, in each of which at least 80% of the total decline in mortality, since records began to be kept in the United Kingdom in 1860, occurred before any vaccine or antimicrobial drugs were available and 90% or more before there was any national vaccine progamme.” 563
Instead of acknowledging the true cause for this extraordinary mortality decline before vaccination took hold, the medical profession embraced vaccination as a profitable and core medical tool. The problems with vaccines were consigned to oblivion or ensconced and ultimately replaced with myth. Few ever bother to investigate or consider that anything else happened besides what they’ve been told.
Vaccination is not a simple, straightforward cut-and-dry issue. It is complicated. The diseases are complicated and, moreover, the immune system is very superficially understood by even the most accomplished immunologists today.
. . . “the immune system remains a black box,” says Garry Fathman, MD, a professor of immunology and rheumatology and associate director of the Institute for Immunology, Transplantation and Infection . . . “Right now we’re still doing the same tests I did when I was a medical student in the late 1960s . . .” It’s staggeringly complex, comprising at least 15 different interacting cell types that spew dozens of different molecules into the blood to communicate with one another and to do battle. Within each of those cells sit tens of thousands of genes whose activity can be altered by age, exercise, infection, vaccination status, diet, stress, you name it. . . . That’s an awful lot of moving parts. And we don’t really know what the vast majority of them do, or should be doing . . . We can’t even be sure how to tell when the immune system’s not working right, let alone why not, because we don’t have good metrics of what a healthy human immune system looks like. Despite billions spent on immune stimulants in supermarkets and drugstores last year, we don’t know what—if anything—those really do, or what “immune stimulant” even means.” 564
Every infectious disease cannot be viewed through the same lens or measured by the same standard of comparison. Some, like smallpox, were eliminated by an improved hygienic environment. Others, like poliovirus, were fallaciously blamed for sicknesses they were not totally responsible for. Some will never be eliminated by any mechanism.
Whooping cough reports are now increasing despite very high vaccination rates (Figure 13.1). In fact, the disease rates, especially in young infants today, are even higher than they were when vaccine uptake was much lower. It wasn’t until 1978 that pertussis vaccination was required for school entry in the United States, but at the same time infants of age six to eight weeks began to be vaccinated routinely.
How many whooping cough shots did children get when you were growing up? Now we are in a situation where whooping cough vaccines are pretty much a regular event, cradle to grave, and the incidence of clinical whooping cough today—in the most heavily vaccinated populations—is increasing, inciting panic where the drug-sponsored media ramps up unnecessary fear.
In the midst of all the panic and revaccinations, vaccine resistance by pertussis bacteria is now emerging. The prolonged whooping cough epidemic in Australia that began in 2008 has predominantly been caused by a new genotype of B. pertussis. The strain was responsible for 31 percent of cases in the 10 years before the current epidemic, but has accounted for 84 percent since. This represents a nearly three-fold increase, indicating that the bacteria have genetically evolved under the selection pressure from the present vaccine. Dr. Lan of the 2012 study has been quoted 565 as saying that the vaccine is less effective against the evolving strain, and any immunity that is gained wanes rapidly.566 Pertussis bacterial vaccine resistance has also begun to be reported in the United States.
Dr. Humphries: Generally speaking, antibiotic-treated children fare no better than their untreated counterparts. In my experience they often fare worse. Breastfeeding makes a major difference in how well the child handles the infection. Infants as young as two weeks of age have fared quite well at home with the vitamin C treatment and breast milk alone. This makes sense given that antibiotics alter the bowel immunity and, during the dying off of bacteria in the gut, release even more toxin into the already toxic child.
How futile does it seem to keep battling and essentially strengthening such a huge and potentially innocuous force with clumsy weapons? Properly managed, natural whooping cough is but an irksome nuisance that will impart true and lasting immunity upon the convalesced. However, through the onslaught of vaccination, the herd was robbed of its ability to efficiently deal with this disease.
The future could bring a continuous evolution of vaccine-resistant strains that will no doubt require newer pertussis vaccines. In fact, the development of live inhaled pertussis vaccines for newborns has already occurred. 567 You would think that one live intranasal vaccine would be enough to impart long-term immunity in a newborn. But apparently, it isn’t. This new vaccine is going to be added to the already dysfunctional pertussis vaccination program.
The reason that the live intranasal vaccines can’t be enough to provide herd immunity, even if they could provide full-spectrum long-term immunity, has to do with how the rest of the population has been programmed with vaccines—committing original antigenic sin.
Adults, whose immune systems were only primed for “back end” immunity rather than for ACT and numerous surface antigens, can no longer respond in any other way. So, an intranasal vaccine won’t give front-end immunity to adults any more than re-exposure to whooping cough or booster injections would. Given that booster shots don’t increase the bactericidal qualities in the blood and do contribute to bacterial resistance, why even recommend them? Until those DTaP-vaccinated adolescents and adults die, they will be the main source of carriage and spread in the community whether a safe, live, effective vaccine is put to broad use or not.
There’s still another problem with pertussis vaccines, and that is that the vaccines themselves are now a source of false-positive pertussis PCR tests.568 How do you think this complicates the doctor’s task, and how is it affecting humanity overall, given the rampant and unnecessary use of antibiotics for all cases that test positive?
Figure 13.1: United States pertussis incidence by year from 1980 to 2010.
The paradox is that the incidence of B. pertussis has increased again as the vaccine era has progressed, but mortality was down significantly long before the vaccine was deployed. The decline in mortality was not due to antibiotics. Conventional medical literature acknowledges that antibiotics do not necessarily decrease the severity of the disease, and when the drugs are given they are prescribed not to treat the disease but to decrease the length of contagion. Antibiotic treatment is believed to be effective in improving the course of the disease if started early. However, some studies have found that anti-biotic treatment has the opposite effect and actually prolongs the illness.569 Antibiotic-treated children can have a duration of cough 6 to 11 days longer and spasmodic cough 4 to 13 days longer than untreated patients. 570
If vitamin C in adequate doses was given to children, and even the youngest infants with pertussis, the reputation of B. pertussis as the devastating 100-day cough would fade away. Parents would also be less likely to fall victim to pressure by the medical system’s acceptance of a vaccine that imparts only short-lived and partial protection. And who would benefit from that? *(see reference to Vitamin C Treatment of whooping cough)
If whooping cough is commonly a mild disease and apt to be missed, what are the implications for clinical practice? If whooping cough was perceived as a less severe disease, it might have a negative effect on vaccination uptake. If more people understood that the incidence of whooping cough has increased with increasing vaccines, bacterial resistance is emerging, and there is a nontoxic treatment available, surely vaccine uptake would decline further. Since early diagnosis is difficult and treatment with antibiotics is not sufficiently effective 571, a reevaluation of the necessity of the entire medical approach is warranted. But that won’t happen until the “delicate fabric” of interlaced pharmaceutical companies, government, and academia becomes torn. The following conclusion from a special article by the National Vaccine Advisory Committee should indicate to you exactly whose best interests are at the core of vaccine policy.
“Collaboration and cooperation of government agencies, such as NIH, CDC, FDA, USAID, DOD, large vaccine companies, small research companies, and academia are essential to continue success and fulfill the promise of recent advances in science and technology.
Threats to any part of the delicate vaccine research and de-velopment network jeopardize the rapid development and supply of new life-saving and life-enhancing vaccines for the American people. What is the optimal size, scope, and configuration of the US vaccine enterprise? These questions should be debated only in the context of a full understanding of how the current system works and its record of effectiveness. These National Vaccine Advisory Committee recommendations will help to ensure that public policies take into consideration this research and development network and foster and sustain it to facilitate the timely introduction and supply of new vaccines.” 572
When the function of academic research is to foster and sustain a delicate fabric of collaboration, no one will bite any hand that feeds them—particularly in the climate that exists today.
“To serve the public interest, government advisory committees must be independent of industry, but such committees cannot be relevant and effective if isolated from the expertise and experience of the industry, which is the principal funder of vaccine research and development.” 573
Until this political triangle is broken, parents must know that the health of their children rests upon their own research and good judgment.
Editor’s note: We appreciate the authors’ kind permission to reprint this article from their new book, Dissolving IIlusions. Dr. Suzanne Humphries is a medical doctor, Internist, and Board Certified Nephrologist (kidney specialist). Dr. Humphries has re-dedicated her life as a doctor and has recently moved beyond mainstream medicine, and is utilizing nontoxic means to help restore health in those who seek her assistance. She is currently in private practice and continues to dispel the mythology surrounding vaccination.
Roman Bystrianyk has been researching the history of diseases and vaccines since 1996. He has an extensive background in health and nutrition as well as a B.S. in engineering and M.S. in computer science. Roman’s detailed charts on the decline of infectious diseases can be viewed at the Health Sentinel website.
*Vitamin C Treatment of Whooping Cough – By Suzanne Humphries M.D. – VRAN Newsletter, Spring 2012. Also available online.
- 551 T. Francis, “On the Doctrine of Original Antigenic Sin,” Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society, vol. 104, no. 6, December 15, 1960, pp. 572–578.
- 552 J. D. Cherry et al., “Determination of Serum Antibody to Bordetella Pertussis Anenylate Cyclase Toxin in Vaccinated and Unvaccinated Children and in Children and Adults with Pertussis,” Clinical Infectious Diseases, vol. 15, no. 4, February 2004, pp. 502–507.
- 553 Ibid.
- 554 J. D. Cherry et al., “Antibody Response Patterns to Bordetella Pertussis Antigens in Vaccinated (Primed) and Unvaccinated (Unprimed) Young Chidren with Pertussis,” Clinical and Vaccine Immunology, vol. 17, no. 5, May 2010, pp. 741–747.
- 555 S. L. Sheridan et al., “Number and Order of Whole Cell Pertussis Vaccines in Infancy and Disease,” Journal of the American Medical Association, vol. 308, no. 5, August 1, 2012, pp. 454–456.
- 556 L. C. Rosella, “Assessing the Impact of Confounding (Measured and Unmeasured) in a Case-Control Study to Examine the Increased Risk of Pandemic A/H1N1 Associated with Receipt of the 2008–9 Seasonal Influenza Vaccine,” Vaccine, vol. 29, no. 49, November 15, 2011, pp. 9194–9200.
- 557 R. Bodewes et al., “Annual Vaccination Against Influenza Virus Hampers Development of Virus-Specific CD8 T Cell Immunity in Children,” Journal of Virology, vol. 85, no. 22, November 2011, pp. 11995–12000.
- 558 P. E. M. Fine and J. A. Clarkson, “Distribution of Immunity to Pertussis in the Population of England and Wales,” Journal of Hygiene, vol. 92, no. 1, February 1984, pp. 21–26.
- 559 J. D. Cherry, “Epidemiology of Pertussis,” Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal, vol. 25, no. 4, April 2006, pp. 361–362.
- 560 Glen Nowak, PhD, “Communicating in Changing and Difficult Communication Environments,” 2005 Safer Healthier People, CDC; “Planning for the 2004–05 Influenza Vaccination Season: A Communication Situation Analysis,” CDC, DHHS.
- 561 D. Jenkinson, “Natural Course of 500 Consecutive Cases of Whooping Cough: A General Practice Population Study,” British Medical Journal, vol. 310, Februrary 1995, pp. 299–302.
- 562 Edward B. Shaw, MD, “Pertussis Vaccine,” Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal, vol. 2, no. 3, May/June 1983, p. 265.
- 563 Gordon T. Stewart, “Whooping Cough in Relation to Other Childhood Infections in 1977–9 in the United Kingdom,” Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, vol. 35, 1981, p. 144.
- 564 B. Goldman, “The Bodyguard: Tapping the Immune System’s Secrets,” Stanford Medicine, Summer 2011.
- 565 J. Norrie, “Vaccine Resistant Whooping Cough Takes Epidemic to New Level,” The Conversation, March 21, 2012.
- 566 Octavia et al., “Newly Emerging Clones of Bordetella Pertussis Carrying Prn2 and Ptxp3 Alleles Implicated in Australian Pertussis Epidemic in 2008–2010,” Journal of Infectious Diseases, vol. 205, no. 8, April 15, 2012, pp. 1220–124
- 567 R. Cornford-Nairns, “Construction and Preliminary Immunobiological Characterization of a Novel, Non-Reverting, Intranasal Live Attenuated Whooping Cough Vaccine Candidate,” Journal of Microbiology and Biotechnology, vol. 22, no. 6, 2012, pp. 856–865.
- 568 Hossein et al., “Aerosolized Vaccine as an Unexpected Source of False-Positive Bordetella Pertussis PCR Results,” Journal of Clinical Microbiology, vol. 50, no. 2, February 2012, pp. 472–474.
- 569 A. E. Tozzi et al., “Clinical Presentation of Pertussis in Unvaccinated and Vaccinated Children in the First Six Years of Life,” Pediatrics, vol. 112, no. 5, November 2003, pp. 1069–1075.
- 570 Ibid.
- 571 D. Jenkinson, “Natural Course of 500 Consecutive Cases of Whooping Cough: A General Practice Population Study,” British Medical Journal, vol. 310, Februrary 1995, pp. 299–302.
- 572 E. K. Marcuse, “United States Vaccine Research: A Delicate Fabric of Public and Private Collaboration,” Pediatrics, vol. 102, no. 4, Part 1, October 1998, pp. 1002–1003.
- 573 E. K. Marcuse, “United States Vaccine Research: A Delicate Fabric of Public and Private Collaboration,” Pediatrics, vol. 102, no. 4, Part 1, October 1998, pp. 1002–1003.