Pathology labs are so utterly useless, i

Pathology labs are so utterly useless, it was quite disturbing to work out how bad they are.
When I first got back from Africa convinced I had been successful infecting myself with hookworm, because of multiple rashes and a night of violent coughing, I tested negative 3 times in a row at a lab in California.
I was convinced I had failed. I was crushed. I was broke.
Then my allergies and then my asthma went and I began to wonder, and I bought a microscope.
After that I had multiple tests over the next year or so with different labs looking for one that knew what they were doing. I was being asked to prove I had hookworm, and everyone thought as I had that it was a simple test.
You can imagine, back then there were no blogs, almost no news or research, and a lot of people thought I was lying. After all, where were the test results?
Later on I wanted to be able to refer clients to an independent lab, a lot of people were preoccupied with McMaster egg counts, worthless though they are. As well as to confirm their ongoing infection with hookworm.
I did not want to do stool tests because it was going to be believed I was just making results up. A lot of people did not believe we actually had worms back then is what I mean.
I have only ever tested positive once with a third party, the Clinic associated with the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, this was after we had had to leave the USA and fully four plus years after I went to Africa and more than two years after I went to Belize. That clinic even gave decent estimates of my worm burden for both Hookworms and Whipworms, as in Heavy of hookworm and moderate for whipworm.
I imagine lab techs are people who “know” no one in the States or Europe can possible have a helminth infestation.
So when a sample comes in from someone wanting a test for hookworms and they say they have not travelled abroad in the last three years, in the Tech’s mind the person asking for the test has to be an obsessive, a Hulda Clarke acolyte.
The Tech does, at best, a cursory examination of a single slide, wretches a few times, and bins the sample, ticks “Negative” on the carbon paper form and then furiously washes their hands, and liberally applies hand sanitiser.
That is how I imagine it goes most of the time, at $90 a pop.
We had another experience where a client went to their doctor, the client was nuts by the way, convinced they had a deficiency disease, and the Dr. ordered blood work.
At the time I was working with a clinical pathologist, someone who ordered and interpreted sophisticated tests for doctors, and had done so for years working for the National Health Service here in the UK.
On the basis of the blood results the doctor ordered iron infusions, and a regimen of supplementation for things like magnesium.
The client went nuts.
The client very shrilly blamed her predicament on hookworms and on me, it was still early days so I wasn’t equipped to refute both her and a doctor or so I thought. She was fulminating online and everywhere that we were a threat to life and limb, grossly irresponsible, etc., etc.
So we obtained a copy from her of her blood results, and according to the clinical pathologist had they been correct the blood could only have been drawn from a corpse.
The Dr. had not noticed, or more likely had decided it was easier to treat a condition that did not exist than to confront the lunatic.
The lesson of this story is that you should always obtain a confirming test when lab results indicate anything other than a mild course of treatment, iron infusions are not mild. You can apply the same reasoning to the opinions of doctors. I never go myself, but when I do and if a diagnosis is rendered I will definitely be getting a second opinion and a new set of tests.

If you doubt me maybe you should do some searching, here is one link I found by Googling “number of misdiagnoses per year usa”.

http://ow.ly/KcPw309TWaq

Tests to confirm infestation with helminths

There are three tests that can confirm to an extent that one is or has recently been infected with hookworm or whipworm.

The Parasite & Ova Test

The first and most common is in practice useless for reasons I speculate about below. In most cases returning a negative result that is almost invariably false.

This is the simple Parasite & Ova test offered by pathology labs across the world.

In places like the USA, Canada, the EU, etc., where “no one” has helminth infestations lab techs do not have any real experience performing the test, they have likely only ever seen pictures of the ova they have to look for in text books.

They “know” the subject cannot be infested, and the test is very unpleasant to perform because it requires handling and being in close proximity to human excrement for over an hour.

I believe that as a result of these factors most samples submitted are binned almost immediately, or at best given a cursory examination.

For instance I thought I had been unsuccessful in obtaining hookworm originally on the basis of 3 negative P&O tests taken at two week intervals starting eight weeks after my return from Cameroon. This is what is recommended for P&O tests for hookworm.

It was only when I realised my allergies appeared to be gone that I bought a microscope and taught myself how to do them. It takes a long time to get your eye in, and if I had not been very highly motivated there is no way I would have done it.

I had the advantage of working with my own excrement. That may  not sound like much of an advantage to you, but having performed P&O tests on the excrement of others I can tell you that you are quite wrong.

I think they give one or two slides a cursory examination, at best, toss them in the bin,  check “Negative” confident they are dealing with one of Hulda Clarke’s, or similar, dupes, and go and wash vigorously with hand sanitise for about twenty minutes.

I would expect that most of the P&O tests performed in North America are done so for people who are convinced, and there are many, that their health issues are the result of infection with all manner of parasites. Which that fraud Hulda Clarke and others offer cleansing and purging tonics for.

Strong ELISA

The second is the Strong ELISA test, which looks for antibodies specific to hookworm or whipworm, or whatever. This test is rock solid, so long as it is performed competently, on a sample that has been handled and prepared, as well as conserved properly.

Bear in mind that we see an alarming number of screwed up blood tests, ones where our client’s doctor accepts a lab result uncritically, and starts a course of treatment based on said lab results. Lab results that could only be true were the subject dead.

I am not making this up.

So as with any test you would have to have a confirming one performed if the first was negative, or positive. Because just like where you work most of the people working in healthcare are doing their best…

As well, because the test does not prove the presence of the helminth you are looking for, but instead for antibodies, it is possible for someone to have lost their infection and show positive for as long as those antibodies remain in circulation.

Eosinophil level changes

The last of the three is to have your Eosinophil levels checked. Eosinophils are white blood cells that only* come out to play with helminths. Their concentration levels in blood rise from very low concentrations per ml of blood, say 4-8, in someone who has never been exposed to helminths, up to many hundreds, sometimes over a thousand or fifteen hundred per ml, about four to six weeks after first exposure. They plateau for four or five months before rapidly starting to decline around the end of month five, so that at the end of month six your levels would be just slightly above where they were preexposure.

*But eosinophil levels can be elevated for other reasons, giving false positives, and in fact elevated levels are associated with the atopic disorders, asthma, allergy and eczema, as well as more exotic and deadly conditions.

The advantage of this test is that it is dead cheap, performed by machines, and cheap enough for you to have performed all the way along the curve showing you not only that you are infected, but that around five or six months those hookworm or whipworm are having a measurable impact on your immune system, because they have turned off the production of a type of white blood cell.

The best way to have the standard P&O test performed I think is to have a veterinarian do it. If you can talk one into it. They have the equipment, they are skilled in the test because they routinely do it. Cats and dogs get hookworm of their own, and can kill kittens.

Yes, kittens!

Far cheaper than the Strong ELISA, which you can have done by a lab out of Atlanta called Metametrix, reliably. I think it is close to three or four hundred USD, plus shipping, but they can tell  you  the cost, how long you would have to wait to submit a sample, probably about four months. 

But as I said, you should never rely on a single lab result for any medical decision you ever make, always ask for a retest. That makes this option very expensive.

 The fact is, having answered this question many, many times, is that if you’ve gotten the itch and a rash then you are infected, and will remain so for three years. That is unless you have innate immunity. If you do have innate immunity then our dosing protocol takes care of that, and it doesn’t matter.

But none of that is going to stop you obsessing, I’ve met your type before…

You might consider buying a microscope, but really, is that how you want to spend any of your free time?

More to the point, is it how your current or any prospective partners are going to want to spend their weekends?

Reading academic papers

Finding papers to read

There are many ways to find academic papers. As well as using your favourite internet search engine, there are many indexes of medical and biological papers with effective search functions. Pubmed is by far the most popular and very comprehensive, maintained by the NIH, part of the US federal government, thank you. Indexation by Pubmed does lag publication by six or more months, and this will be true of all the academic search engines, like… Jstor, also popular.

So if you simply have to read it as soon as it is published you will have to subscribe to the journals, or having read the abstract in a truncated version of a journal online pay for the whole paper.

When you use the medical research databases remember to use multiple different search terms when looking for papers on a particular topic. You must also use the same terminology as those favoured by researchers and academics. To an extent their use of specialised language makes sense, unfortunately many researchers seem to have never met a complex word they did not like, regardless of the utility derived from using one. So, as well as searching for keywords such as “helminths” or “hookworm” remember to try using scientific names of organisms such as “necator americanus” and “trichuris trichiura”, or using the academic style for contractions as “t. trichiura”. Of course you can simply use “trichiura” instead, but remember with medical research a great deal is conducted in animals. Particularly at the early stages, as we are now with helminthic therapy. So the animal equivalents are often used, as in T. Suis for the whipworm species having pigs as their definitive host.  So search using terms starting at the centre, and move out.

Continue reading “Reading academic papers”

Why ova counts are worthless for measuring helminth population

Egg counts were once commonly used to estimate helminth populations in infected humans, and more commonly in animals. They were used to determine whether or not a treatment to kill the helminths, a process called helminth therapy, was appropriate. Before modern anti-helminthics in particular treatment was very unpleasant, and quite dangerous, so treatment was far more dangerous in the case of light infections than to leave them to die of old age.

This policy of only treating large infections prevails, only subjects with high populations of hookworm for instance are supposed to be given anti helminthic drugs (helminth therapy) according to CDC policy (see graphic from CDC image web site below). It was this customary use of the term helminth therapy that lead me at the very beginning to adopt the use of helminthic therapy, the two phrases meaning exactly the opposite.

I do not claim the term’s invention, I read it in an early paper since lost speculating about the possible use of helminths via deliberate infection to treat diseases like Crohn’s.

The arguments against egg counts as an indicator of helminth number

Continue reading “Why ova counts are worthless for measuring helminth population”

What is the difference between a cure and remission?

I am posting this because I often find myself telling people that helminthic therapy, though it very likely could make you completely well, cannot cure you. The issue is semantics, but it is important we adhere to strict definitions, even if they cause trouble for some, in the interest of accuracy.

A cure is when a disease or illness is treated and then goes away completely. An example of this is when antibiotics are used to clear up an infection such as tonsillitis.

Continue reading “What is the difference between a cure and remission?”

Thank You Automattic for the Akismet Anti Spam Plugin

I wanted to thank Automattic, the developers of the Akismet anti comment-spam plugin for writing what is a very helpful tool for blocking comment spam on WordPress blogs.

I forgot to mention that it is free.

If you look at the screenshot below it quarantined 2,574 comments that were spam, this from early this year, around mid March I think, until now, mid September.

Most of it is in Chinese, though I did not get past the second page examining it.

If I deleted your honest post, if you submitted it and it is not published here somewhere then I deleted it, please resubmit it and I will be sure to publish. Please no marketing links, I just burn those comments.

Spam Count
2,574 comments marked as spam in less than six months

Multiple Sclerosis and helminthic therapy

Every one of our Relapsing Remitting Multiple Sclerosis clients who has maintained a therapeutic population of hookworm has reported achieving near or complete remission within twenty-four months, most show an improvement within six to nine months.

Every. Single. One.

I recently spoke with the gentleman who sent me the email quoted below, and he has agreed to write up an account of his experiences with helminthic therapy. I will post that here as soon as I get it.

Nor are our results always entirely subjective, although this one is typical of the emails I get from our MS clients, in this case their response is documented by their neurologist using pre- and post-helminthic therapy MRIs.

Start of email:

Hi Jasper, I just recently had a brain MRI and I wanted to share the great results with you. This is the letter from my neurologist:

“Just a short note to let you know about the results of your recent MRI of the brain done 5/30/10. We were finally able to get it compared to your previous MRI done 6/22/07 done at Kaiser Woodland Hills. Here’s a copy of the report: “Comparison exam dated 6/22/07 from outside institution is now available for review. Compared to this study, a lesion in the lateral aspect of the right thalamus has significantly decreased in size. A previous lesion in the right brachium pontis is not seen. Other white matter lesions are without significant change. Hyperintensity in the left optic nerve was not definitely seen on the prior but this area was not seen clearly given technique. No new lesion has developed.”

So things are actually improved and no new lesions are seen! This is great news! I think we can safely reduce your Copaxone to every other day provided you have an annual MRI. What are your thoughts?”

This is better news than I could have hoped for. It looks like the mild symptoms I was having were not an actual relapse. Some people get these flare ups when they get too hot, but I think that I may get them when I don’t get enough sleep. From what I understand, it is not actually disease activity, but more like a “short circuit” caused by existing scar tissue in the brain when it is exposed to certain stresses. I definitely think that the hookworms are a big part of the reason that I am doing so well. So thank you again for all the sacrifices that you’ve made to make this treatment available.

End of email.

You can read another quite incredible account on our page devoted to Multiple Sclerosis and Helminthic Therapy. The one you want is by “Ric”. He was in the very first cohort of clients, on September 25, 2007. Reading his account just now I realised I need to get him to update it, and have emailed him so we can bring it up-to-date.

If you want more than anecdote there is plenty of research, in particular that of Correale and Farez over the last decade, theirs is some of the best research into helminth’s impact on any disease there is, even now. If what is available here is not sufficient a search of PubMed, the online medical research database maintained by the National Institutes for Health is a great resource.

Correale and Farez’s work is superb(1,2,3), as you can see for yourself below, the full text of one of the papers below is available for free. See link below also.

What their work shows is that just about any infection with a helminth will slow or stop the progress of Relapsing Remitting Multiple Sclerosis.

Furthermore, their work examines some of the mechanisms explaining the impact of helminth infection on the immune systems of those with Relapsing Remitting Multiple Sclerosis. Explaining how the improvement of symptoms of those with Relapsing Remitting Multiple Sclerosis who are infected with helminths is caused by the helminths.

Taken together this has enormous potential to treat, or to eliminate, Multiple Sclerosis.

Relapsing Remitting Multiple Sclerosis is about 85% of all cases of Multiple Sclerosis.

Secondary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis is what Relapsing Remitting Multiple Sclerosis turns into after a few years or decades. Secondary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis forms about 10% of all cases of Multiple Sclerosis.

So, Relapsing Remitting Multiple Sclerosis is responsible for about 95% of all cases of Multiple Sclerosis.

Summarising, based on our 100% response rate treating Relapsing Remitting Multiple Sclerosis using hookworm alone, supported by powerful results from a series of well-designed and executed studies showing similar results for a variety of helminths, that provide at least part of the reason for the beneficial effects of helminth infection on the course of Relapsing Remitting Multiple Sclerosis, it appears reasonable to believe that it is possible, using tools and techniques we have right now, to prevent or to “cure” approximately 95% of all cases of Multiple Sclerosis.

But is it safe?

One branch of the United States Federal Government says so. The Centers for Disease Control.

The Centers for Disease Control, a department of the National Institutes for Health in the United States, recommends US doctors not treat light infections of hookworm (see diagnosis and treatment algorithm published by the CDC/NIH here).

Light infections being all that is required to treat Multiple Sclerosis, it is hard to understand why there is so little excitement about all this.

Source: Public Health Image Library, ID#:52454

Unfortunately the CDC is not the portion of the US Government that is concerned with regulating, and deciding what are, drugs. Sadly, for us, that portion of the Federal Government, the FDA, has decided that helminths are a drug.

According to various estimates that can be found on the web, a disease not worth treating according to the CDC is in fact a potentially dangerous drug requiring years, decades, of research likely to cost approximately $800,000,000.00, this according to sources quoted on Wikipedia. It is hard to imagine a drug company undertaking such a task to gain approval for the therapy that it could not patent, and that would supplant some of the most expensive drugs on the market today.

Take Tysabri as an example, a drug used in the USA to treat Relapsing Remitting Multiple Sclerosis. One estimate I have read on the internet states that the cost of five years treatment with Tysabri costs $140,00.00, that is the drug alone. It does not include the blood tests and doctor’s visits required by use of the drug. The cost of hookworm currently for five years benefit? $3,050.00.

Put another way, treatment with hookworm for Relapsing Remitting Multiple Sclerosis is 2.1% of the cost of Tysabri over a five year period.

While I understand why no drug companies are championing this approach for treating Multiple Sclerosis, given that doing so would amount to financial suicide, what i don’t understand is why Multiple Sclerosis sufferers, and the Charities that represent them, are not.

I don’t understand why everyone with Relapsing Remitting Multiple Sclerosis is not aware of the potential of helminthic therapy to treat Multiple Sclerosis. Why aren’t the charities championing research or promoting the use of this therapy right now?

It’s safe, remember?

Because of the universal response among our Multiple Sclerosis clients, and the excellent science available courtesy of Correale and Farez, we have decided that Multiple Sclerosis is the route to gaining wider acceptance of helminthic therapy. To persuading the medical and scientific establishment to treat the subject with the seriousness and resources it deserves.

If anyone with experience writing grant proposals, for research in particular. Or with experience working with charities wants to help, or to advise us in these efforts, please contact me by leaving a message in the comments section here, or by visiting http://autoimmunetherapies.com/contact.html.

This is absolutely the most important thing we have attempted since starting to sell helminthic therapy in September, 2007.

Success with a study will help us towards our ultimate goal, the transformation of the practice of medicine o include the use of benign infectious organisms to prevent and to treat disease. We might even help accelerate the eradication of Multiple Sclerosis, too.

Jasper Lawrence

References:

(1) The impact of parasite infections on the course of multiple sclerosis.

Correale J, Farez MF.

Abstract: Previously, we demonstrated that helminth-infected MS patients showed significantly lower number of relapses, reduced disability scores, and lower MRI activity compared to uninfected MS subjects. In the current study, 12 patients with diagnosis of relapsing remitting MS presenting parasite infections were prospectively followed during 90months; due to exacerbation of helminth-infection symptoms after 63months of follow-up, 4 patients received anti-parasite treatment. Helminth-infection control was associated with significant increase in clinical and radiological MS activities. Moreover, these patients showed significant increase in the number of IFN-γ and IL-12 producing cells, and a fall in the number of TGF-β and IL-10 secreting cells, as well as CD4+CD25+FoxP3+ Treg cells evident 3months after anti-helminth treatment began. These new observations on parasite infections associated to MS indicate that parasite regulation of host immunity can alter the course of MS.

Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

PMID: 21277637 Link to PubMed Entry

(2) Helminth antigens modulate immune responses in cells from multiple sclerosis patients through TLR2-dependent mechanisms.

Correale J, Farez MF.

Abstract: To better understand the link between parasite infections and the course of multiple sclerosis (MS), we studied the role of TLRs in helminth product recognition by dendritic cells (DCs) and B cells. Baseline expression of TLR2 was significantly higher in infected-MS patients compared with uninfected MS subjects or healthy controls. Moreover, cells exposed to TLR2 agonists or to soluble egg Ag (SEA) from Schistosoma mansoni resulted in significant TLR2 up-regulation. SEA suppressed the LPS-induced DCs production of IL-1beta, IL-6, IL-12, and TNF-alpha and enhanced TGF-beta as well as IL-10 production. Similarly, after exposure to SEA, anti-CD40-activated B cells increased IL-10 production. Both processes were MyD88 dependent. In addition, SEA down-regulated the expression of LPS-induced costimulatory molecules on DCs in a MyD88-independent manner. DCs stimulation by SEA and TLR2 agonists induced increasing phosphorylation of the MAPK ERK1/2. Neither stimulus showed an effect on p38 and JNK1/2 phosphorylation, however. Addition of the ERK1/2 inhibitor U0126 was associated with dose-dependent inhibition of IL-10 and reciprocal enhancement of IL-12. Finally, cytokine effects and changes observed in DCs costimulatory molecule expression after SEA exposure were lost when TLR2 expression was silenced. Overall, these findings indicate that helminth molecules exert potent regulatory effects on both DCs and B cells through TLR2 regulation conducted via different signaling pathways. This knowledge could prove critical in developing novel therapeutic approaches for the treatment of autoimmune diseases such as MS.

PMID: 19812189 Link to free copy of complete paper.

(3) Helminth infections associated with multiple sclerosis induce regulatory B cells.

Correale J, Farez M, Razzitte G.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: To assess the importance of B-cell control during parasite infections in multiple sclerosis (MS) patients.

METHODS:

Peripheral blood CD19+ B cells from 12 helminth-infected MS patients, 12 MS patients without infection, 10 patients infected with Trypanosoma cruzi, 8 subjects infected with Paracoccidioides brasiliensis, and 12 healthy control subjects were purified using magnetic cell sorting. Interleukin (IL)-4, IL-6, IL-10, tumor necrosis factor-alpha, lymphotoxin, transforming growth factor-beta, brain-derived neurotrophic factor, and nerve growth factor secretion were evaluated after stimulation with CDw32 L cells and CD40 antibody using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays. The production of anti-myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein IgG and IgM antibodies was evaluated by enzyme-linked immunosorbent spot assays. Cell phenotype was assessed by flow cytometry.

RESULTS:

Helminth infections in MS patients created a B-cell population producing high levels of IL-10, dampening harmful immune responses through a mechanism mediated, at least in part, by the ICOS-B7RP-1 pathway. The IL-10-producing B-cell phenotype detected expressed high levels of CD1d and was similar to the one observed in mature naive B2 cells (namely, CD11b(-), CD5(-), CD27(-), and IgD+). Moreover, B cells isolated from helminth-infected MS patients also produced greater amounts of brain-derived neurotrophic factor and nerve growth factor compared with those of normal subjects, T. cruzi-infected subjects, P. brasiliensis-infected subjects, or uninfected MS patients, raising the possibility that these cells may exert a neuroprotective effect on the central nervous system.

INTERPRETATION:

Increased production of B-cell-derived IL-10 and of neurotrophic factors are part of the parasite’s regulation of host immunity and can alter the course of MS, potentially explaining environmental-related MS suppression observed in areas with low disease prevalence.

PMID: 18655096 Link to PubMed Entry

(4) For those wanting to find the hookworm diagnosis and treatment algorithm image for themselves it is impossible to bookmark, I expect the CDC does not want their servers being used by sites like this one to host their images and to provide their bandwidth. But you can find it at http://phil.cdc.gov/phil/home.asp, use the search field to search on “hookworm” and the image is about halfway down on the right.