Why We May Need Viruses More Than Vaccines
- By Sayer Ji, Founder - November 28th 2014
A groundbreaking study published this month in Nature challenges a century old assumption about the innate pathogenicity of these extremely small, self-replicating particles known as viruses.
Titled, "An enteric virus can replace the beneficial function of commensal bacteria," researchers found that an "enteric RNA virus can replace the beneficial function of commensal bacteria in the intestine." Known as murine (mouse) noravirus (MNV), researchers found that infecting germ-free or antibiotic-treated mice infection with MNV "restored intestinal morphology and lymphocyte function without inducing overt inflammation and disease."
The researchers found:
"Importantly, MNV infection offset the deleterious effect of treatment with antibiotics in models of intestinal injury and pathogenic bacterial infection. These data indicate that eukaryotic viruses have the capacity to support intestinal homeostasis and shape mucosal immunity, similarly to commensal bacteria."
Despite the commonly held belief that viruses are vectors of morbidity and mortality that must be vaccinated against in order to save us from inevitable harm and death, the new study dovetails with a growing body of research showing that our own genome is 8% viral in origin.
Reporting on the new study, in an article well worth reading, the Science Daily states:
"The new findings are the first strong evidence that viruses in the gastrointestinal tract can help maintain health and heal a damaged gut."
They summarized the study's findings as follows:
"The team infected germ-free mice and antibiotic-treated mice with MNV and found that the infection triggered the repair of intestinal tissue damaged by inflammation, restored intestinal cell numbers, restored intestinal cell function, and normalized tissue architecture. The results were apparent after just 2 weeks of MNV infection.
Infection with MNV also helped restore the gut's immune system. The investigators do not yet know how the virus supports the immune system. They did find, however, increased signaling by antiviral type 1 interferon proteins, suggesting the virus was playing a key role in driving the immune response.
The investigators also documented a doubling of T-cell levels in the blood and detectable levels of antibodies in the gut and blood of antibiotic-treated mice after MNV infection. These measures were consistent with a normalization of the immune response. The authors conclude that viral infection of the gut may be helpful once antibiotic treatment has wiped out intestinal bacteria.
Treatment with MNV was also able to improve survival in antibiotic-treated mice receiving the damaging chemical dextran sodium sulphate."
As our knowledge of the critical role of microbes increases, a paradigm-shift is occurring in medicine that is only beginning to trickle down to clinical practice. If our very identity depends on 'germs' – e.g. the bacteria within our body account for 10 times more cells and 99% more genetic material that found in the human body itself – the discovery that the viruses in our body – the total number referred to as the virome – also perform indispensable functions in supporting and maintaining our health, turns on its head widely held assumptions about their role in contributing to human disease and various pathologies.
As reported in the Science Daily article, the senior investigator of the study Ken Cadwell, PhD, from New York University, states:
"We have known for a long time that people get infected all the time with viruses and bacteria, and they don't get sick." "Now we have scientific evidence that not every viral infection is bad, but may actually be beneficial to health, just as we know that many bacterial infections are good for maintaining health."
Consistent with the 'hygiene hypothesis,' natural infections during childhood and onward, may prime our immune system and help to balance the Th1 (innate) and Th2 (adaptive) poles of immunity, producing a healthy immune system as a result. Vaccines, by disrupting this evolutionarily determined balance, may be contributing to widespread immune dysregulation, both suppressing innate immune mechanisms as well as over-stimulating the adaptive pole, contributing to widespread autoimmunity in exposed populations.
As science and molecular biology progresses and continues to reveal the inherent intelligence within the commensal relationship of the human body to the microbial universe, we are left with a crucial question: is the present-day globally orchestrated vaccine agenda really improving health, or does it belie a hubris that shirks the scientific evidence in favor of an agenda that wishes to exert control over the human body due to economic and socio-political agendas?
For additional research on why vaccines do not make sense evolutionarily, read our article on the topic: Why Vaccines Aren't Paleo and Vaccination Agenda: An Implicit Transhumanism / Dehumanism