DO ANTIBODIES REALLY PROTECT?
FROM REPEATED medical investigations, it would seem that antibodies are bout as useful as a black eye in protecting the victim from further attacks. The word “antibody” covers a number of even less intelligible words, quaint relics of Erlich’s side-chain theory, which the greatest of experts, McDonagh, tells us is “essentially unintelligible”. Now that the old history, mythology and statistics of vaccination have been exploded by experience, the business has to depend more upon verbal dust thrown in the face of the lay public. The mere layman, assailed by antibodies, receptors, haptophores, etc., is only too pleased to give up the fight and leave everything to the experts. This is just what they want, especially when he is so pleased that he also leaves them lots and lots of real money.
The whole subject of immunity and antibodies is, however, so extremely complex and difficult, especially to the real experts, that it is a relief to be told that the gaps in their knowledge of such things are still enormous.
We can obtain some idea of the complexity of the subject from The Integrity of the Human Body, by Sir Macfarlane Burnet. He calls attention to the fact—the mystery—that some children can never develop any antibodies at all, but can nevertheless go through a typical attack of, say, measles, make a normal recovery and show the normal continuing resistance to reinfection. Furthermore, we have heard for years past of attempts made to relate the amount of antibody in patients to their degree of immunity to infection. The, results have often been so farcically chaotic, so entirely unlike what was expected, that the scandal has had to be hushed up—or put into a report, which is much the same thing (vide M.R.C. Report, No. 272, May 1950, A Study of Diphtheria in Two Areas of Great Britain, now out of print). The worse scandal, however, is that the radio is still telling the schools that the purpose of vaccinating is to produce antibodies. The purpose of vaccinating is to make money!
Another equally authentic report is worth noting, more particularly because of its source—the Pasteur Institute at Teheran (see W.H.O. Bulletin, 1955, Vol. 13, No. 5). The laboratory report on five cases out of 17 all of whom were badly bitten by a really big bad wolf which also bit 12 other persons, 6 cows and a horse in one night, and was presumably not quite normal, is clear and concise. The purpose of the whole report was to advertise a new serum, and so the 17 worst cases, with head injuries, were divided into three groups. Six patients were given two or more shots of the new serum; none died. Six others got only one shot; one died. The remaining five got no serum; three died. Needless to say, all the cases were treated surgically and with antibiotics, etc., and all had 21 days of the Pasteur vaccines.
The report might be said to make out a case for the new serum as a protection against the Pasteur vaccines, although we could suggest a better, cheaper and quicker way of dealing with them. This, however, is what it says about the five patients whose fate had to depend on them:
“Series C.—The five patients in this series received a course of vaccine but no serum, and none showed antibodies before the 19th day. However, three developed definite titres between the 21st and 25th days. Two of these three patients died. Two other patients failed to develop any demonstrable antibody during the period of observation. One of these died of rabies; the other survived. The two highest levels of antibody in this group were obtained from fatal cases shortly before death.”
That should be enough about antibodies!
It may be true to say that our lymphocytes and mesenchymal cells form a large part of our natural defences, and that these cells are produced in enormous numbers and stored at strategic points, the main depots in the alimentary tract being the tonsils and the appendix!
How often is the appendix solemnly called “the nuisance organ” by those who, at no loss to themselves, remove thousands of appendices every year, a majority of two-thirds of them being in fact quite normal and useful? The real doctors who still retain some respect for the wonderful complexity of the human organism, at the risk of being called “dangerous cranks”, should really get together with the business-surgeons and discuss this subject—on TV, please!
When we learn that something like 500,000,000,000 lymphocytes die and are replaced in a human body every day, not to mention all the other “immunologically competent” cells, we cannot help feeling that it is grossly impertinent to add to the complexity of the situation by squirting people full of other cells and viruses which car multiply to an utterly unpredictable extent. No wonder there are often complications!
HOW MANY VACCINES DO WE NEED?
When a full inquiry had to be made into the alarming amount of cross-infection in our hospitals, it did not take long to discover several thousand strains of antibiotic resistant germs, particularly of the staphylococcus aureus. Must every hospital patient therefore have several thousand new vaccines pumped into him, three shots of each, and a booster dose some months later if he is still living? If not, why not? The reason is that the public—even the viewers and listeners—would begin to see that the whole idea of vaccinating, if carried to its logical conclusion, is a vast, grotesque, commercial racket which can never produce a healthy race or even allow anyone to enjoy real health. Of course, the real, hospital-prone patient will try anything once. He might be willing to settle for a single new multimillivalent vaccine from the Salk Institute. Who can tell?
WHAT IS A VIRUS?
The electron microscope has focused attention upon what are all-too-loosely called viruses. The word virus used to mean any kind of foul and poisonous matter; but now the notion is being encouraged that a virus particle, whether called an “intact”, “living” or “whole” virus, is merely a very small kind of germ, too small to have been seen by Pasteur with the optical microscope.
A virus is a nucleic acid, a chemical chain or pattern. The excuse for regarding it as being alive is that it can multiply itself by getting into a cell and causing it to produce a lot more of the same virus—even a thousand times as much in a few minutes. We can grasp the idea more easily if we remember that a poisonous lie, a mere chain of letters, can get into a newspaper, be multiplied millions of times and spread all over the country in a few hours.
This is obviously a very different thing from simply dividing as bacteria do. The main difference is the amazing speed of virus multiplication. A bacteriophage, for instance, which can infect a bacterium and make it produce more than a thousand new virus particles exactly like itself in 20 minutes, has a potential breeding rate of one-thousand million times per hour for as long as it gets enough cell to infect. These figures come from The Times Science Re view, Autumn 1959.
What a splash the journalists could have made with this sensational figure if only they had had the courage to warn the mothers of the world, with banner headlines, never to have viruses pumped into their defenceless babies or fed to them in pink cocktails! Unfortunately, they missed their glorious opportunity. The matter was never fully discussed and many very important questions are still unanswered
What is really meant, for example, by the expression “living virus”? Is there such a thing as a dead one? How do the real virologists talk about this when they “let their hair down”, if they have any?
Commenting upon the first of the CIBA Foundation Lectures, Study Group No. 4, Dr. H. G. Pereira, a very well recognised virologist, of the National Institute for Medical Research, Mill Hill, London, said: —
“The position is even more difficult now since it has been shown that the nucleic acid by itself, e.g., that of poliovirus, will infect many different tissues which are quite resistant to the whole virus.”
When we know that the word “infect” means that the nucleic acid (the virus) multiplies enormously, and that “whole virus” simply means a tiny spot of virus coated with protein derived from an infected cell, we can appreciate the fact that sometimes a “whole” virus cannot infect, while a decoated, or “killed”, virus always can if it is a real virus The reason is that all cells have to feed through their walls and can absorb free virus in the same way, after which they can “replicate infectious virus”.
In the second lecture, given by Prof. H. R. Morgan, of Rochester, New York, the above facts were confirmed with regard to type I poliovirus, which can infect chick-embryo cells only after being deprived of its protein covering.
Most of the world must have read several times about the huge sums paid out by the Cutter Company, of California, to the victims of their Salk polio vaccine. The total amount was over $3,000,000, only $2,000,000 of which was covered by insurance. The facts which have been given already about “living” virus particles should have been known well before the claims were settled. The jury, or 11 out of the 12, awarded these huge sums on the grounds that the Salk vaccines had contained “living virus particles”.
Would it be going too far to guess that the vaccinemongers—those directly or indirectly concerned—preferred to pay up and shut up rather than have the scandal discussed for several more months, or even years, through an Appeal to the Supreme Court on the grounds that the cases were tried, as they seem to have been, on a completely false basis?
The whole thing must surely seem a little queer to the intelligent layman, especially when he knows that the Sabin vaccines are deliberately made to contain living viruses. Naturally, it is hard to get any real sense out of all this, because there never was any real sense in it!
What the intelligent doctor thinks is seldom published in the popular newspapers, but when the writer remarked to the late Dr. Beddow Bayly, very shortly before his death, that he had concluded that the difference between a living virus and a dead one was twelve minutes, Dr. Bayly laughed, in evident agreement, and said these memorable and forceful words:
“You need not be afraid that they would use real viruses in all these vaccines. They simply would not dare to! The whole thing is absolute humbug!”
This final dictum by Dr. Bayly sums up the position with his usual meticulous accuracy. It does not, however, answer all the questions that are being asked about the latest vaccines, though it covers the subject well enough
The latest virus vaccines, whether oral or inoculated, are said to be made with “modified” viruses, regardless of the fact that real viruses have a way of unmodifying themselves with alarming and sometimes fatal results. Very frequently, even in medical journals, they are oh-so-reassur ingly called “inactivated” viruses, vaccines, etc. In plainer English, they do not work!
Now, surely, to vaccinate with an inactivated virus is about as foolish, not to say unethical, as it is to travel with an expired season ticket. Even when the latter has been scientifically modified by partial or complete lysis of the date, its use can prove to be a badly miscalculated risk.
As to “modified” viruses, however, Dr. John Kendrew, F.R.S., in his series of BBC TV lectures on “The Thread of Life”, stated that it had been proved in the laboratory that a virulent virus (that of virus pneumonia), if placed side by side with a “variant”, can “take over” the variant, restoring its virulence, and make it “breed true”. Viruses can, in fact, infect one another! Another revelation comes from The Genetics of Bacteria and their Viruses, by Willam Hayes, in which, on pp. 365-6, he classifies these viruses as “virulent” and “temperate” and says that the change from one class to the other can be made in a single mutation in response to altered environmental conditions Furthermore, these viruses, in their temperate mood, do not kill their host cells. They allow them not only to go on living but to breed offspring which continue to reproduce virus as well as themselves.
These facts would seem to explain a vast host of disasters, from single cases to world pandemics. They show the risk of vaccinating with modified viruses, especially when virulent ones are present. They overwhelmingly endorse the late Dr. Beddow Bayly’s resounding dictum, quoted previously.
As to smallpox vaccines, it has always been impossible to define them. Jenner could hardly have known that almost any foreign matter, applied with skill and an impressive air, can produce a festering sore on the skin. Case No. 5 in his famous Inquiry—a gentlewoman who acquired “cowpox” through handling dairy utensils—may well have been an early case of vaccination with milk or cream, but not the last one by any means. Jenner would have been shocked by this idea, no doubt, because he did not think of it himself.
Any mixture of chemical and biological refuse can be called a vaccine, and, with enormous free advertising by Press and Radio, it can be sold, but, if it does not cause specific infection, it is not a real vaccine. The latest smallpox vaccines appear to be more infectious than smallpox itself. These mysteries are seldom fully discussed or explained, but there can be little doubt that the smallpox vaccines used in the U.S.A. and our own true British pox- –virus officinale contain traces of human smallpox virus.
In the light of what is now known about viruses, it is not surprising that the most vaccinated populations have always had the worst record for smallpox. The Philippines, for example, had 163,000 cases, with 71,000 deaths, in 1918-20, after 20 years of compulsory poisoning with “modified” smallpox lymph. The Mexicans were the most thoroughly vaccinated people on earth from 1876 onwards (with compulsory vaccination within four months of birth, revaccination at least once every five years and every time there is a local outbreak), and yet, until about 1935, they had the worst record in the world for smallpox, the death rate being between 2 1/2 and 3 ½ times higher than that of India! The League of Nations were blowing them up about it. They could hardly recommend more vaccine, of course, but there has been some improvement since then in Mexico, due, no doubt, to other factors of a more general environmental nature.