Autoimmune Diseases Web

Mad Cow

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We have used this concept of MOLECULAR MIMICRY to identify the trigger factors in RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS and ANKYLOSING SPONDYLITIS. Over the last seven years, our group has been studying “bovine spongiformencephalopathy” (BSE), also known as MAD COW DISEASE. A computer analysis showed that the soil and skin microbe ACINETOBACTER has components which resemble brain tissues. We approached MAFF (Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food) with the idea that we had an alternative theory , an AUTOIMMUNE THEORY, to the PRION HYPOTHESIS, which could explain the origin of BSE. Despite a few objections from some quarters, some funds were made available and access given to BSE material. A study of BSE affected cattle showed that they have elevated levels of antibodies to the soil bacterium ACINETOBACTER, a microbe which has components resembling brain tissues and to a lesser extent to the related microbe PSEUDOMONAS..So far we have studied 508 animals; 218 with BSE and compared them to 290 controls. These results are specific since the BSE animals do not show antibody elevations to five other microbes: KLEBSIELLA, PROTEUS, SERRATIA, E.COLI, BACILLUS and AGROBACTERIUM. The elevated levels of antibodies to ACINETOBACTER found in BSE cattle lends itself to the development for an ANTE-MORTEM TEST for “BSE”,It has been proposed that BSE is caused by exposure to ACINETOBACTER fragments, found in the “meat-and-bonemeal” flour meal fed to cattle.The hypothesis is that antibodies against ACINETOBACTER, attack the brain and cause MAD COW DISEASE.The first time that a BSE cow was observed, it was found to be standing on its forelegs but falling down by its hindquarters and in this it resembles MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS patients who have a greater incidence of lower limb paralysis. Patients with MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS were also found to have antibodies to ACINETOBACTER and to the related microbe PSEUDOMONAS. Over 50% of patients with MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS suffer from SINUSITIS and thus could have become infected by the saprophytic microbe ACINETOBACTER. The general hypothesis is proposed that BSE is MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS in cows and therefore it is an autoimmune disease which CANNOT BE TRANSMITTED BY THE CONSUMPTION OF “BSE” AFFECTED MEAT. If this theory can be confirmed then the following conclusions arise:mption of meat is safe and has always been safe.
(2)Culling of cattle was unnecessary.

(3)There will be no epidemic of CJD.

(4)An ante-mortem test for detecting BSE in live cattle is feasible.

 Clearly the autoimmune theory of BSE requires further investigations but two months ago, DEFRA withdrew research funds for such studies. We are currently cooperating with our Dutch colleagues in studying patients with MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS.We hope that such Anglo-Dutch studies will continue in the future and serve not only international cooperation but also the aims and mission of the Royal Society for the Promotion of Health.

Thank you for your attention.