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Aug 29, 2012 by DAVE MIHALOVIC
Vaccine Campaigns May Be The Cause of New AIDS-Like Disease in Asia and Drug Resistant HIV Affecting Africa

Researchers have identified mysterious new symptoms that have left scores of people in Asia and sub-Saharan Africa with an AIDS-like disease and drug-resistant HIV respectively. Coincidentally, vaccine trials
took place in several regions in both continents.

The patients' immune systems become damaged, leaving them unable to fend off germs as healthy people do. What triggers this isn't known.

Researchers publishing in the Lancet studied 26,000 untreated HIV-positive people in developing countries and found the most rapid increase in drug resistance occurred in East Africa, at 29% per year. In Southern Africa, it was 14% per year.

Writing in the Lancet, authors Dr Silvia Bertagnolio from the WHO and Dr Ravindra Gupta at UCL said: "Without continued and increased national and international efforts, rising HIV drug resistance could jeopardise a decade-long trend of decreasing HIV/Aids-related illness and death in low- and middle-income countries."

Although Dr. Gupta stated tha drug resistance is a consequence of slacking on medication, vaccine critics are sounding the horn claiming that vaccine trials taking place in the last decade courtesy of Merck are responsible for the increase in drug resistance as new type so of viruses were introduced into these populations.

The AIDS-like symptoms in Asia are causing patients' immune systems to become damaged, leaving them unable to fend off germs as healthy people do. What triggers this isn't known.

This is another kind of acquired immune deficiency that is not inherited and occurs in adults, but doesn't spread the way AIDS does through a virus, said Dr. Sarah Browne, a scientist at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

She helped lead the study with researchers in Thailand and Taiwan where most of the cases have been found since 2004.Their report was recently published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

The disease develops around age 50 on average but does not run in families, which makes it unlikely that a single gene is responsible, Browne said. Some patients have died of overwhelming infections, including some Asians now living in the U.S., although Browne could not estimate how many.

"She was wasting away from this systemic infection" that at first seemed like tuberculosis but wasn't, said Dr. Carlton Hays Jr., a family physician at the Jackson Clinic in Jackson, Tenn. "She's a small woman to begin with, but when I first saw her, her weight was 91 pounds, and she lost down to 69 pounds."

The first large-scale phase HIV vaccine trial in South Africa was stopped in October 2007 because results from a similar trial conducted in the USA showed that the test vaccine was not effective at preventing infection.

In September 2007, the United States' National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, the pharmaceutical company Merck and the NIAID-funded HIV Vaccine Trials Network (HVTN) announced that vaccinations of the HIV vaccine clinical trial known as the STEP study would be discontinued.

The decision was based on recommendations made by an independent Data and Safety Monitoring Board (DSMB), which analysed early data and concluded that the vaccine did not prevent HIV infection nor reduce the amount of virus in those who became infected with HIV.

Another large study using a T-cell-based vaccine then attempted another enrollment of an 8,500-person trial, to be conducted in Africa and the Americas, going one step further than the Merck adenovirus vaccine. It was the first attempt to prime volunteers' immune systems with a DNA vaccine compound before delivering a vector-based agent to boost T-cell responses to the virus.

Merck was the only large pharmaceutical company to use its own resources to bring a vaccine this far along the development process in Africa.

South African AIDS researchers ultimately began warning hundreds of volunteers that a highly touted experimental vaccine they received in recent months might make them more, not less, likely to contract HIV in the midst of one of the world's most rampant epidemics.

The move stemmed from the discovery that the AIDS vaccine developed by Merck might have led to more infections than it averted among study subjects in the United States and other countries. Among those who received at least two doses of the vaccine, 19 contracted HIV compared with 11 of those given placebos.

Researchers shut down the trial on the grounds that the vaccine was proving ineffective, but the surge in infection among vaccinated volunteers prompted intense scientific debate and anxiety among researchers.

"There may be a correlation between the vaccine trials and the new infections appearing around the world but we need further investigations," said vaccine researcher Ronald Chu.

The new infections do not spread the same as AIDS does, according to Dr. Sarah Browne, scientist with the National Institutes of Health (NIH) National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Browne led the team of researchers in Thailand and Taiwan where the AIDS-like disease made its first appearance.

Browne has concluded that the new AIDS causes those infected to produce autoantibodies that block interferon-gamma, a chemical signal that assists the human body in fighting infections. The new AIDS targets this chemical and leaves the victim unable to fight off any infection -- leaving the person vulnerable to developing deadly sicknesses from even the common cold.

Vaccines are causing an unprecedented number of mutations creating superbugs and potent viruses and bacteria that may eventually threaten future generations and humanity itself. Life-threatening pathogens are capable of evolving rapidly and developing genetic decoys that serve to disguise them from even the most powerful drugs. Researchers have found that pathogens switch genetic material with other bacteria, but predominantly for the part of the genome responsible for making the cell coating, which is the area targeted by vaccines.

Novel diseases which are drug resistant such as those presented here may only be the beginning of what is to come if mass vaccine trials continue.


Dave Mihalovic is a Naturopathic Doctor who specializes in vaccine research, cancer prevention and a natural approach to treatment.

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