Vaccines for Deadly Malaria Create Even More Virulent Malaria: PLoS Study
August 2, 2012 by admin
The risk to all of us in a malaria vaccine, whether we vaccinate or not, is enormous. This study demonstrates that a more virulent and deadly form of malaria is a near-certain outcome.
Blood-filled Anopheles Mosquito
by Heidi Stevenson
Malaria is a killer. Obviously, the last thing we need is a more virulent malaria. Yet, that is precisely what the malaria vaccine will probably cause. A study published by PLoS Biology found that “virulence evolved” through malaria vaccinations.
Malaria is a disease that causes severe chills, fevers, sweats, fatigue, and anemia. It’s caused by Plasmodium parasites, which are carried by the Anopheles mosquito. It’s transmitted through the mosquito’s “bite” when it feeds. Unlike other diseases, its symptoms have a nasty tendency to return, often years after initial infection.
For people in the northern hemisphere, malaria hasn’t been much of a problem, but with climate change’s warming, the malaria-carrying mosquitoes have moved further north and now pose risks to North America and Europe.
This, of course, means that an enormous new profit center is developing for malaria vaccines. Therefore, there’s been a burst of research to develop them. Of course, such research is focused on one thing: bringing a product to market. Concerns about the long term effects are not addressed by vaccine researchers. Fortunately, though, one team of scientists has investigated the potential risk of such a vaccine. The findings should give pause to the gung-ho vaccine developers—but almost certainly won’t.
Genetically Engineered Vaccine Concerns
Most research into new vaccines tends to utilize recombinant DNA technology. That is, they are creating genetically modified organisms to make vaccines. These vaccines are generally created by implanting a gene that causes a plant to make a molecule that becomes an antigen in a vaccine. These antigens are bits of proteins, which are called epitopes when antibodies are created against them.
According to the study, several vaccine-created epitopes are known to evolve, resulting in ineffective or less effective vaccines. Specific diseases referenced include the hepatitis B virus, Bortadella pertussis (whooping cough), and Streptococcus pneumoniae.
Although the evolution of epitopes is a concern with some vaccines, there is another, even more serious worry. The possibility of vaccinations causing the evolution of the infectious agents themselves was the focus of this study. As the authors state:
Vaccination could favor virulent malaria parasites in two ways. First, [point 1] if the primary force preventing the evolution of more virulent strains is that they kill their hosts and therefore truncate their infectious periods, keeping hosts alive with vaccination will allow more virulent strains to circulate. Second, [point 2] immunity might be less effective against virulent strains. ["Point 1" and "point 2" added by me.]
Their first point is that vaccines may result in more virulent forms of a disease by removing it from the pool of variants, which can result in their place being taken by a more virulent disease. As discussed in Whooping Cough Epidemic Caused by Virulent New Pertussis Strain—And It’s the Result of Vaccine, this has been known to happen in the case of pertussis, and is behind much of the current whooping cough outbreaks.
The second point of concern is simply that the vaccines may not be as effective against more virulent strains. This point is already an issue, as in the case of the vaccine-induced more virulent strain of pertussis.
Further complicating the issue is that any malaria vaccine is “leaky”. The term leaky refers to a vaccine that does not kill all of an individual’s disease-causing agents. This study documented that malaria vaccines are, indeed, leaky.
The risk is that infections of evolved organisms can be spread from one individual to another through mosquitoes. If a person with an evolved and more virulent Plasmodium parasite is bitten by a mosquito, it can be transmitted to other people. The mosquito has become a carrier of the newly evolved Plasmodium parasite.
This study found that more severe symptoms developed in mice after Plasmodium had been passed through only ten individual mice through leaking.
RedOrbit reports lead author Andrew F. Read as saying:
Leaky vaccines create a situation that further fosters parasite evolution. The parasites that are able to survive in the immunized hosts must be stronger after having survived exposure to the vaccine. The vaccine-induced immunity apparently removed the less virulent malaria parasites, but left the more virulent ones.
RedOrbit also quotes Victoria Barclay, who conducted the laboratory experiment:
We were surprised to find that more-virulent strains of malaria evolved even while the gene encoding the key antigen remained unchanged. We did not detect any changes in the gene sequence.
The Inherent Danger to All of Us
Read says that ongoing monitoring needs to be done to see if a malaria vaccine causes more virulent strains of malaria. But frankly, that simply isn’t good enough. By the time any monitoring system discovers that an already deadly disease has evolved to become even more virulent, it’s too late. The new, more deadly strain, is already out there.
Though the authors leave the impression that the vaccines will likely continue to protect against these more virulent diseases, the reality is that they don’t know it. We already know that the slightest variance in an influenza virus results in a new disease unaffected by existing vaccines.
The fact is that scientists, medical doctors, and health agencies are playing games with our lives. At some point, an untreatable and unstoppable disease is almost certain to arise as a direct result of the vaccines being pushed. In the case of malaria, we’re already dealing with a particularly nasty disease, one that causes tremendous misery and death. How much of a mutation is required for it to become an uncontrollable pandemic?
We don’t know. But that doesn’t stop them. Nothing seems to even slow the profit-making vaccination juggernaut.
Found at: http://gaia-health.com/gaia-blog/2012-08-02/vaccines-for-deadly-malaria-create-even-more-virulent-malaria-plos-study/