Global Cancer Symposium Review Part II.

New Findings in DNA Repair May Lead to Cancer Inhibitors
Picture by

This part includes even more interesting data, more types of techniques utilized, new tests and promising therapies.

Dr. Bita Badakjhan, M.D.  has been providing some of this useful information while talking about “Avoid Metastasis and recurrence of cancer.”

We all have tumor cells, she says, but if not activated from any oncogenic process or metabolites they remain harmless; secreting tumor cells and growing process takes up to six years to be manifested. At the begin tumor cells circulate in blood to reach organs and systems.

It is possible to know if these cells are circulating in blood ahead of time doing a liquid biopsy called RGCC test or Greek test; this is not still available in USA, but it is coming soon, only countries as Germany and Greece practice, and so centers associate send their samples to be analyzed. They look at tumor and stem cells, circulating cells are from time in body, stem cells may show few mutations but not still cancer development; they might also show presence of virus and parasites or any other infection that may cause cancer; no symptoms must be ignored.

Microbiome is the key to fix everything and so tumors. Immunotherapy, fico transplant, acidity tests, rebuilding of microbiome, restore of mitochondria, get rid of toxins, those the things she was suggesting, so as many other doctors; additionally, in regard of microbiome health she was reminding of not giving antibiotics to kids because here is where imbalance begin and the whole series of problems.

Regular biopsy causes cancer cells daughter to spread all over the body. Cryotherapy freezes tumor in situ then to be removed, chemo is necessary in worse cases, not suggested antioxidants during chemo because they can neutralize effects of chemo, but after a week to rebuild the immune system suppressed from chemotherapy, or prior a chemo. Hypothermia or hyperbaric oxygen also are better before of chemotherapy.

Best diet for this doctor is vegan, to avoid estrogen in animal production. Cancer likes pH 6.5-7.5, ideal pH should be 7.5-8.5. Cancer cells produce lactic acid, this the reason why they make cells so sick. She was warning against radiations, avoiding X-Ray tests too frequently, and in support to supplement with NAC and SOD.

Other tests they practice at her clinic, “The Healing center for Cancer”, I believe is called PHI, is a blood work and stand for Phosphohexose Isomerase; it is an enzyme of fermentation, anaerobic marker of anaerobic metabolism, and is produced by cancer cells, if is elevated, the body is going to form cancer.

This test can be done before of RGCC test.

If PHI test is done after chemotherapy means cancer is going in metastasis, in this case patient is treated with hyperbaric oxygen, alkaline environment, IV high doses of vitamin C; these therapies may not work for everyone. Circulating cancer cells can be still circulating even after a diagnosis of remission until the root cause is found.

It is particularly important to keep stomach acidity because microbes, especially parasites can cross the gastrointestinal barrier and reach out organs and multiply for years, not a good idea to drink alkaline water while eating if there is acid reflux, acid is necessary to digest food, and mainly proteins, and for this reason it is especially Important to know about food allergy, sensitivity, and intolerance to prevent acid.

Dana Morgan, other speaker, was mentioning the RGCC test, and that treatments following the results are personalized.  IPT, or low dose chemotherapy is combined with other things to support the immune system, like herbs and nutrients. She also mentioned that the Journal of Oncology was stating that chemo, radiation, cannot eradicate a cancer, but instead for 90% causes metastasis, and that Western Medicine is linking HPV and Epstein Barr to lymphoma and prostate cancer, but eventually there are more connections among viruses and cancers. Immunotherapy is especially important and virus eradication.

Dr. Leigh Erin Connealy, M.D. also member of “Cancer Center for Healing” was illustrating the Nano Oxygen and all therapies with oxygen, hyperbaric, ozone therapy, etc. Bath in nano bubbles plus oxygen. We need oxygen for everything, every reaction in our body needs oxygen. How relate to cancer, Otto Warburg, German scientist discovered that cancer cells thrive in anaerobic environment, for oxygen is definitively an enemy for cancer cells.

John Santoyo, technician was talking about another technique, the SEP, Electrohydraulic Pressure Pulse for reversing cancer polarity. This device produces strong pulses that can be felt in body, based on lithotherapy principle, and good for kidney stones too. Cancer is an electrical fault, every organ has positive and negative electric poles, cancer tries to hide from the body’s immune system developing a fibrinogen tissue around itself that helps to hide and reverse polarity. This electromagnetic device is also good for many other issues like, muscles, endocrine, adrenal fatigue, plantar fasciitis, and foot disorders, and for healing wounds, thanks to the waves coming from the pressure.

Dr. Ben Edwards, M.D., was speaking about “Affordable, safe, and effective treatments when money is tight”. He was a family prime care doctor, but then changed his prospective after a celiac patient began to be better after radical changes of diet and lifestyle since he saw a naturopathic doctor. Still some doctors can prescribe supplements but do not look at root causes, he thinks.

Insulin balance and mitochondria health are the most important pillars of health for this doctor.

Cancer is not acquired, such as a virus like the coronavirus of Covid-19, for example, but both emerge in a drastic inflammatory status, or chronic disease, metabolic inflexibility, terrain dysfunction.

And then he was analyzing the germ theory versus terrain theory, germs are part of the problem, but if we only eliminate them we do not solve the problem, for example he was referring to insects and mold, if they are only clean out away, they will grow again; it is necessary to keep the environmental conditions (pH, ventilation, hygiene) for do not let them reproduce; same thing with COVID-19 and all other germs, it is all about the terrain.

Genes are turned on when all is exhausted, if there are chronic or inflammatory conditions, or comorbidity he suggests starting a fast, or low blood sugar diet, increasing vitamin D levels, (as cod liver oil, or sunshine), managing stress, and use of anti-inflammatories like vitamin C and ozone.

If no symptoms with a COVID-19 infection means that the immune system is working the way should, so it is a good thing. During a liquid biopsy there are circulating cancer cells because we all have, the matter is to keep these repressed and not multiplying and developing tumor with appropriate lifestyle and effective immune system. People can have tumor for years that does not change, in many cases cancer does not cause problems, there are more instead with conventional treatments.

His 4 pillars are: nutrition, hydration, movement, and peace.

Nutrition must be plant based and organic, he was stressing on the importance of salts and minerals, and reducing sugar content foods and all inflammatory foods, applying a narrow eating window, with intermitting fast, at least of 16 hrs.

For hydration, not just water but also type of foods hydrated, like watermelon for example or any type of fruits and vegetables, in this water is structured, H3O2, which means that will penetrate in cells membranes better. If urine are too yellow means that we are not hydrated, if they are clear like water we are hydrated, better clean water mineralized, from rain and spring sources.

For movement, simply regular movement, if at home and smoking and then go to the gym, not useful, better being outside.

For peace he meant to stay away from negative thoughts which release negative energy and abnormal vibration frequency. God drives us through this life, deep spirituality, “you are the cure, your body has the power to heal.”

Donna Gate was treating, “Candida, parasites, and cancer, removing infections to facilitate and achieve healing”.

She is the author of the “Body Ecology Diet” written to overcome candida infection. Candida, parasites, and cancer are all connected.

Parasites are difficult to get rid of, they hide in biofilm in small intestine for years, only colon therapy can eliminate them pouring water slowly to fill the colon so that the biofilm can be detached from the walls, those in large intestine can be eliminate through colon cleanse and detoxification processes. Candida can be local and systemic. Can be managed with treatment, diet and immune system reinforce, but not cured.

Candida presents in two forms, as yeast, not aggressive, and as filament with tentacles called ife; both produce toxins, gliotoxins and acetaldehyde, this last one is a byproduct of alcohol, reason why people with candida infection may look like drunk or sleepy because acetaldehyde can affect the brain. Toxins damage DNA, DNA damaged causes cancer, cells die or mutate. Too many senescent cells commit suicide, apoptosis, and so a tumor.

Causes are, high sugar diet, weak immune system, stress, antibiotics, estrogen dominance, alcohol, chronic inflammation, oxidative stress, ROS, and free radicals, superoxide, hydrogen peroxide, ammonia, processed foods, sugars, and bad oils. Genes involved, SOD, CAT, CBS, GSH, and variants in the ATP cycle.

With aging, inflammation, apoptosis, and immune resistance there is a gene that modulates these processes in a positive way. DNA repair gene SIRT-1-7 controls circadian clock, and how cell respond to stress, to niacinamide, and resveratrol.

We can increase Sirtuin for longevity with deep sleep, autophagy, calories restriction, polyphenols in bitter vegetables, oil of olive, dark chocolate, curcumin, ginger, ginseng, dark berries, DHA, melatonin, NADH.

Diet for candida besides sugars and carbohydrates must avoid oxalates foods, high histamine foods, and animal proteins, yeast converts amino acids in putrescines. Sugar feeds cancer, yeast makes oxalates (defense systems for plants) which are toxins that produce stones, and they cause pain everywhere they establish. Histamine also related, wine and fermented foods contain histamines, also chocolate and soy, but miso soup seems to prevent breast cancer.

Her conclusions, fix gut, remove candida and parasites and biofilms, bad diet and toxins, repair gut lining and regenerate microbiota. Support genes variants: ALDH, ALD, alcohol clearance, detoxification, methylations pathways, CBS, GSH, IL-6, inflammatory cells, all SNPs for nutrients. 

As we can see plenty of recommendations, some over-repeated and well known, especially for who is in the field, or worse involved with cancer personally, but also many new and important information.

Thanks for reading.

Mariarosaria M.

Global Cancer Symposium Review

Cancer: When good cells go bad | CTCA
Picture by

“Revolutionary new treatments in Alternative Medicine, encouraging resolutions and radical remissions.”

These the most remarkable aspects and facts to collect from this symposium.

The host, Nathan Crane after difficult life experience and wrong lifestyle discovered new ways to be healthy and from here, he became always more involved with alternative medicine; at this time, he is interviewer, film producer, and Award winner director of the healing club “Cancer, The Integrative Perspective”.

He is the organizer of this symposium which gathers a variety of scientists, mainly alternative medicine doctors talking about cancer, new techniques, and strategies in alternative medicine to prevent and to cure, not just cancer but all the inflammatory diseases.

All the speakers were providing interesting information, conversations were professionally managed with no interruption from the host and questions were appropriate and investigative.

Dr. Robyn Benson, D.O.M.  member of the “Cancer Center for Healing” was talking about therapies and of regenerative medicine, how to reverse from degeneration through oxidative medicine and stem cell therapy. She was giving much importance to mouth hygiene, many diseases come from the mouth and from there spread to the whole body. In connection to this Dr. Benson was emphasizing technique like hydrogen peroxide and ozone therapy as oxidative therapies to get rid of microbes as root cause for cancer. She also was speaking about the importance of the environment and necessity to get rid of toxins, detoxification protocols, and much more the importance of being surrounded of indoor plants to generate oxygen to detoxify from environmental toxins, and for all what we need oxygen for. Negative thoughts affect all systems and so the wellbeing, it is especially important therefore maintaining a healthy mental status, feelings, and emotions during a disease to support the healing process.

Dr. Kelly Turner, PhD was discussing about radical remission and that healing from cancer is possible without conventional medicine. She classifies 3 categories of people, 1) those who refuse from the begin to be treated from conventional doctors, 2) those who begin with conventional treatments but then discouraged of results decide to contact alternative doctors, 3) and finally those who combine conventional treatments with integrative medicine.

As alternative therapies she was mentioning besides the “Gerson Diet” as type of diet for cancer, “Coley’s Toxins” injections where a mix of killed bacteria are injected to stimulate the immune system, while other doctors are incorporating high doses of vitamin C with low doses of conventional chemotherapy, or LDI.

Among her 10 pillars, as for the most of these doctors, there are, diet and exercise, toxins avoidance and detoxification, herbs and supplements, stress reduction, sleep and meditation, positive attitude, social interacting and support and spiritual practice.

All the relaxing techniques release substances that increase the production of natural killer cells, lymphocytes-T class of cells that reinforce the immune system, but also increase telomeres length, for life extension and rejuvenation.

The 10 healing factors do not guarantee healing in all cases because each case is different, but for sure the strength of the immune system. Most important of everything is to have a purpose in life and to be forgiving, to have compassion, love, kindness, and gratitude.

Dr. Tom O’Brian, N.D., was reporting about “Altered Microbiome: Optimizing Gut Health and Ability to Fight Cancer.”

He was mentioning 5 pillars for keeping healthy, and not just for avoiding cancer, but all the diseases, and mainly to control inflammation. These 5 pillars are, the food we eat, sensitivity and intolerances, the environment and toxins, the microbiome balance, the intestinal permeability o leaky gut, the genetics. It is important to avoid doing same things that are the cause of the disease, it is fundamental to change lifestyle and diet and unhealthy choices.

He was emphasizing Dr. Alessio Fasano’s research, and discover of the zonulin, the marker for leaky gut, or permeable intestine, and the comment that Dr. Fasano makes in relation “Every disease begins in the gut” which, is, of course, the most important and primary thing to address. First thing he suggests to do is to look at food sensitivity and/or intolerance because this is what cause microbiota imbalance and dysbiosis and so gut inflammation and from here leaky gut that compromise the immune system response and all that can derive, from autoimmunity to cancer.  Some of the comparisons he does to explain the leaky gut and the whole process are typical, and well described in his two books. “Autoimmune Fix” and “Fix Your Brain”, both excellent books.

Substantially he defines as “cheese-clothes” the pores that can be created in the intestinal wall due to the permeability process caused by the inflammatory molecules and toxins released from bacteria, like the LPS of the cell coat of Gram negatives bacteria. Undigested macromolecules, due to lack of digestive enzymes, or of hydrochloric acid, or to intolerance across these pores of the intestinal barrier disperse in blood and so in the body system. The immune system does not recognize these molecules and begins to attack and create more inflammation, or if these molecules, which practically are sequence of amino acids, have a similarity with the structure of a tissue or an organ, the immune system will attack its own tissues and organs (molecular mimicry), and from here starts the degeneration process and so autoimmunity, o cancer, or other diseases.  He widely treats these subjects in all his videos, webinars, classes, conferences, and public appearances.

Natasha Zalos, technician, was talking about lymphatic massage and technique that uses a device as a form of therapy, not only for cancer but for all the inflammatory conditions; every time the immune system get compromised the lymphatic system drains the fluid with toxins, dead cells and microbes away from the body, but when people are not well this system does not function as should and so this type of technique and massage done with essential oils will help to release these toxic load from the body.

Dr. Thomas Lodi, M.D. began introducing “what is cancer” itself and investigating “beyond rapid cells growth”.

On his definition cancer is the capacity to disturb “homeostasis” which means balance in body, to heal cancer, or other diseases it is necessary reestablishing the balance; for example, if blood pressure is not balanced for a variety of reasons, more than lower down with medications or other remedies it is necessary to discover and eliminate the cause (stress, diet, not exercise, environment), people with years of hypertensive episodes are at risk of hypoxia and so also from cancer because cancer develops in anaerobic environment, and which means in absence of oxygen.

All cells need energy for their functions, and 50% of this is used for building process, the machinery of energy in our body are the mitochondria where ATP, the universal molecule of energy is produced, and for these reactions to happen oxygen is necessary, oxidative phosphorylation is the stage of metabolism where these molecules are produced. Oxidation will produce free radicals which if accumulate will cause mitochondria vulnerability; with the aging process and degenerative processes 40-50% of cells become dysfunctional, loose mitochondrial function, and start to ferment.

Cancer is a chronic fermenting cell, same process for all type of cancers, dead tissues, food for bacteria, necrosis, glycolysis, lactic acid, CO2, sore muscles; if we exercise for long time and experience fatigue and shortness of brief, fermentation is happening.

Each cancer, he states, has a cause correlated besides the genetic, and gives much importance to prebiotics and diet which must be vary with lots of antioxidants to function as anti-inflammatory.

Glutamine and glucose are inflammatory, cancer cells feed on glucose, intermitting fasting it is necessary to keep healthy besides all the other roles more time mentioned and basic for all, food, hydration, sleep, exercise, air quality, environment, toxins, stress, meditation, spirituality.

Dr. Nalin Chilkov, D.M.O, was talking of plan, team, and cooperation, and understanding the whole picture, if autoimmune disease and cancer it will be more inflammation, if diabetes it will be necessary to balance insulin and blood sugar first. Diet must be low carbs and sugars no way, cancer cells thrive on glucose, and excessive proteins can also fuel cancer.

Plates must be ¾ of colorful vegetables, the remaining of lean proteins and healthy fats, no bread, or pasta, or fruit, lots of vegetables for healthy microbiome and healing mushrooms for support of immune system. Hydration and sleep are especially important, intermitting fast using fluids with electrolytes as water, teas, or broths.

Dr. Daniel Pompa, D.C., was all about fasting. Fasting 101- Truth about fasting and cancer, intermittent fasting strategies, beyond fasting, these were the titles, and I believe “Beyond Fasting”, the title of his book.

One extended fast per year or short intermittent fast can reduce risk of getting cancer 95%. He was explaining the concept of autophagia, when in deep state of fast body eats its own bad cells, bad DNA, inflamed and senescent cells, I believe mainly through the work of macrophages and the other phagocyting cells, for this reason long term fast, even 5 days is a healing process.

He was mentioning Dr. Valter Longo, PhD, Italian scientist, and creator of the “Longevity Diet” or “Dieta Della Longevita” in original Italian, as model for these fasting.

These types of fasting are usually done with water or fluids with proteins, with partial fasting is possible to reach same benefits anyway under 1000 calories per day and 20 gr of proteins per day, water fasting is the best at least once a month.

MTOR which stands for high protocols metabolic pathway, non a good idea for people with cancer.

Diversity in microbiome, change in diet, adaptation of body systems, inflammation treatment, homeostasis balance, cell regeneration, diet variation are the strategies.

Dr. Junil Pai, M.D. “Inflammation and cancer, reduce through lifestyle and natural anti-inflammatories”, this what he was discussing.

Inflammation progress to cancer or other diseases, the key is reducing inflammation wherever and however this is expressing. The underlying mechanisms that are causing chronic inflammation are too challenging to treat if there is more degeneration. Overtime constant inflammation cause degeneration of tissues, and suppresses the immune system favoring cancer development, also persistent infections, and exposure to toxins. The epigenetics has its role, it is important to incorporate correct lifestyle to turn off the bad genes.

Then he was giving some examples, chronic colitis can bring to colon rectal cancer after years of bleeding and inflammation, arthritis not treated from years arises the risk for lymphoma. Always necessary to find the root cause of a disease and let the body heal by itself with the appropriates tools and strategies.

Essentially important for this doctor to treat inflammation, and as anti-inflammatory foods he was suggesting plant-based food diet and organic, phytonutrients like resveratrol, curcumin, and polyphenols, all antioxidants, simply treat with diet.

Top foods pro-inflammatory for him are dairy, which stimulates insulin grown factors, with the age we lose digestive enzymes, raw organic removes toxins but is still non healthy, and dairy produce a lot of mucus. Eggs are to avoid because among the content of cholesterol, risk for heart disease, produce procarcinogen for microbiome. All animal proteins cause dysfunction of microbiome for production of endotoxins causing inflammatory response. Bad Fats as saturated fats well known cause of inflammation, and he was mentioning as example ghee and coconut butter both considered healthy fats, but while ghee even having an animal origin, has lots of benefits including detoxification and capacity to lower lipids, coconut butter instead despite of its benefits and coming from plants can increase the lipids levels.

He made some other considerations in regard of foods considered healthy like for example, salmon for being full of toxins, bone broth which has none of the benefits demonstrated, and ketogenic diet because producing ketones feeds cancer cells that use ketone as fuel as much as glucose; too many proteins and fats as well are non-healthy.

He was mentioning angiogenesis which is the cut of blood supplies to cancer cells, as the most important thing for cancer rather than alternative therapies like IV solutions, they are not so useful if there is not radical change of diet and lifestyle, these are things not easy to accomplish and therefore support is necessary.

As we can see there is always some discrepancy and disagreement, but in general they all agree on major steps and fundamental lifestyle behaviors and mainly in finding the root cause and lowering down inflammation and keeping a healthy microbiome.

There are few more that I have had the opportunity to listen and I am going to review in a next blog.

Thanks for reading.

Mariarosaria M.

To be continued.


Definition, Type of Immunity and Types of Vaccines, Ingredients

Covid Vaccine on Pink Surface
Photo by Pexel

All the information in this article has been slightly readapted and rearranged from original sources for treating a subject so actual and sensitive.

A vaccine is a substance that is introduced into the body to stimulate the immune response and to prevent infectious diseases.

Vaccines are made from dead or inactive microbes so that they are unable to cause disease. The antigen in the vaccine stimulates the production of antibodies which are the same as those produced if the person was exposed to the pathogen. If the vaccinated person comes in contact with the agent responsible for the disease, the immune system remembers the antibodies produced to the vaccine and can react faster becoming this way immune to the pathogen.

Vaccines are usually given by an injection and when a high number of people have been vaccinated or been exposed to the same pathogen, herd immunity is reached. Herd immunity is the resistance of a group of people to an infection and is due to the immunity of a high proportion of the population to the disease. If this proportion is high enough then the small number of people who have no immunity will be protected because there are not enough susceptible people to allow transmission of the pathogen.

Vaccination is a form of artificial immunity and the process and steps of preparation, evaluation, safety controls and approval are extremely long. By artificially stimulating the adaptive immune defenses, a vaccine triggers memory cell production like that would happen during a primary response, in this way the patient is capable to build a strong secondary response after exposure to the pathogen.

Natural active immunity is adaptive immunity that develops after natural exposure to a pathogen, as the lifelong immunity that develops after recovery from a chickenpox or measles infection. The length of time that an individual is protected can vary significantly based on the pathogen and antigens involved.

For example, activation of adaptive immunity by protein spike structures during an intracellular viral infection can activate lifelong immunity, while activation by carbohydrate capsule antigens during an extracellular bacterial infection may activate shorter-term immunity.

Natural passive immunity involves the natural passage of antibodies from a mother to her child before and after birth. IgG is the only antibody class that can cross the placenta from the mother’s blood to the fetal blood supply. Placental transfer of IgG is an important passive immune defense for the infant that lasts up to six months after birth. Secretory IgA can also be transferred from mother to infant through breast milk.

Artificial passive immunity refers to the transfer of antibodies produced by a donor to another individual. This transfer of antibodies may be done as a prophylactic measure to prevent disease after exposure to a pathogen, or as a strategy for treating an active infection. For example, artificial passive immunity is commonly used for post-exposure prophylaxis against rabies, hepatitis A, hepatitis B, and chickenpox in high-risk individuals. Artificial passive immunity is also used for the treatment of diseases caused by bacterial toxins, including tetanus, botulism, and diphtheria.

Active infections treated by artificial passive immunity made by convalescent serum from recovered patients has been also used to treat Covid-19 patients so as for infections in immunocompromised patients and Ebola virus infections.

Artificial active immunity is the foundation for vaccination. It involves the activation of adaptive immunity through the measured exposure of an individual to weakened or inactivated pathogens, or preparations consisting of key pathogen antigens.

The developer of the vaccination process was actually the English physician Edward Jenner (1749–1823) who observed that cows who developed cowpox, a disease similar to smallpox but milder, were immune to the more serious smallpox. This led Jenner to hypothesize that exposure to a less virulent pathogen could provide immune protection against a more virulent pathogen.

In 1796, Jenner tested his hypothesis by obtaining infectious samples from a cow’s active cowpox lesion and injecting the materials into a young boy. The boy developed a mild infection that included a low-grade fever, discomfort in his armpit and loss of appetite. When the boy was later infected with infectious samples from smallpox lesions, he did not contract smallpox. 

This new approach was termed vaccination, a name deriving from the use of cowpox (from Latin vacca which means cow) to protect against smallpox. Today, it is known that Jenner’s vaccine worked because the cowpox virus is genetically and antigenically related to the Variola viruses that caused smallpox.

The success of Jenner’s smallpox vaccination drove other scientists to develop vaccines for other diseases. The most famous was Louis Pasteur, who developed vaccines for rabiescholera, and anthrax. During the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, effective vaccines were developed to prevent a wide range of diseases caused by viruses (chickenpox and shingles, hepatitis, measles, mumps, polio, and yellow fever) and bacteria (diphtheria, pneumococcal pneumonia, tetanus, and whooping cough).

For a vaccine to provide protection against a disease, it must expose an individual to pathogen-specific antigens that will stimulate a protective adaptive immune response, this, of course involves some risks as the development of adverse reactions.

Various types of vaccines have been developed for minimizing the risk of collateral effects.

Live attenuated vaccines expose an individual to a weakened strain of a pathogen with the objective of establishing a subclinical infection that will activate the adaptive immune defenses. Pathogens are attenuated to decrease their virulence using methods like genetic manipulation, to eliminate key virulence factors, or long-term culturing in an unnatural host or environment, to promote mutations and decrease virulence.

Live attenuated vaccines activate both cellular and humoral immunity and stimulate the development of memory for long-lasting immunity. Disadvantages associated with live attenuated vaccines include the challenges of long-term storage and transport in addition to the potential for a patient to develop signs and symptoms of disease during the active infection, especially immunocompromised patients. There is also a risk for the attenuated pathogen to revert back to full virulence.

Examples of this type of vaccines are chickenpox, measles, mumps, tuberculosis, typhoid fever, yellow fever.

Inactivated vaccines contain whole pathogens that have been killed or inactivated with heat, chemicals, or radiation. The inactivation process must not affect the structure of key antigens on the pathogen for these types of vaccines to be effective.

Inactivated vaccines do not produce an active infection because the pathogen is killed or inactivated, and the resulting immune response is weaker than that provoked by a live attenuated vaccine. Typically, the response involves only humoral immunity, and which means antibodies production, besides the pathogen cannot be transmitted to other individuals. In addition, inactivated vaccines usually require higher doses and multiple boosters, possibly causing inflammatory reactions at the site of injection.

Despite these disadvantages, inactivated vaccines do have the advantages of long-term storage stability and facility of transport. Also, there is no risk of causing severe active infections. Inactivated vaccines can also provoke side effects.

Examples of inactivated vaccines are cholera, hepatitis A, influenza, plague, rabies.

While live attenuated and inactive vaccines expose an individual to a weakened or dead pathogen, subunit vaccines only expose the patient to the key antigens of a pathogen not whole cells or viruses. Subunit vaccines can be produced either by chemically degrading a pathogen and isolating its key antigens or by producing the antigens through genetic engineering. Because these vaccines contain only the essential antigens of a pathogen, the risk of side effects is relatively low.

Examples of this type of vaccines are anthrax, hepatitis B, influenza, meningitis, papillomavirus, pneumococcal pneumonia, whooping cough.

Toxoid vaccines, as subunit vaccines, do not utilize whole pathogen but contain inactivated bacterial toxins, called toxoids. Toxoid vaccines are used to prevent diseases in which bacterial toxins play an important role in pathogenesis. These vaccines activate humoral immunity that neutralizes the toxins.

 Examples are botulism, diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus.

conjugate vaccine is a type of subunit vaccine that consists of a protein conjugated to a capsule polysaccharide. Conjugate vaccines have been developed to enhance the efficacy of subunit vaccines against pathogens that have protective polysaccharide capsules that help them evade phagocytosis, causing invasive infections that can lead to meningitis and other serious conditions.

The subunit vaccines against these pathogens introduce T-independent capsular polysaccharide antigens that result in the production of antibodies that can neutralize the capsule and so fight the infection; however, children under the age of two years do not respond effectively to these vaccines.

Examples of conjugate vaccines are haemophilus influenzaeStreptococcus pneumoniaeNeisseria meningitides.

DNA vaccines represent a relatively new and promising approach to vaccination. A DNA vaccine is produced by incorporating genes for antigens into a recombinant plasmid vaccine. Introduction of the DNA vaccine into a patient leads to uptake of the recombinant plasmid by some of the patient’s cells, followed by transcription and translation of antigens and presentation of these antigens to the MHC I, the immunocomplex of histocompatibility I to activate adaptive immunity.

This results in the stimulation of both humoral and cellular immunity without the risk of active disease associated with live attenuated vaccines.

DNA vaccines for various cancers and viral pathogens such as HIV, HPV, and hepatitis B and C are currently in development.

Some DNA vaccines are already in use. In 2005, a DNA vaccine against West Nile virus was approved for use in horses in the United States. Canada has also approved a DNA vaccine to protect fish from infectious hematopoietic necrosis virus. A DNA vaccine against Japanese encephalitis virus was approved for use in humans in 2010 in Australia.

DNA plasmid vaccines consist of a small circular piece of DNA called a plasmid that carries genes encoding proteins from the pathogen of interest. NIAID’s Vaccine Research Center has developed DNA vaccines to address several viral disease threats during outbreaks, including SARS coronavirus (SARS-CoV) in 2003, H5N1 avian influenza in 2005, H1N1 pandemic influenza in 2009, and Zika virus in 2016.

Vaccines based on messenger RNA (mRNA), an intermediary between DNA and protein, also are being developed. Recent technological advances have largely overcome issues with the instability of mRNA and the difficulty of delivering it into cells, and some mRNA vaccines have demonstrated encouraging early results.

Of course, these articles were written sometime before of current situation with SARS-CoV-2 and related types of vaccines since the majority of vaccines for Covid-19 are constitute from mRNA.

Vaccine Ingredients

Vaccines Ingredients are usually preservatives, adjuvants, stabilizers, cells cultures materials, residual antibiotics.

Thimerosal is a preservative which contains mercury used only in multi-dose vials of flu vaccine to prevent contamination.

Adjuvants are compounds like aluminum salts used to help boost the body’s response to the vaccine.

For stabilizers are used sugars or gelatin to keep the vaccine effective after manufacture.

As residual cell culture materials are used egg proteins to grow enough of the virus or bacteria to make the vaccine.

Residual inactivating ingredients as formaldehyde are needed to kill viruses or inactivate toxins during the manufacturing process.

CDC states that antibiotics like penicillin responsible of allergic reactions are not used in vaccines and that thimerosal has a different form of mercury, (ethylmercury), than the kind that causes mercury poisoning (methylmercury). “It’s safe to use ethylmercury in vaccines because it’s processed differently in the body and it’s less likely to build up in the body — and because it’s used in tiny amounts”. Most vaccines, they specify, do not have any thimerosal in them.

Because influenza and yellow fever vaccines are both made in eggs, egg proteins are present in the final products. But today there are two new flu vaccines available for people with egg allergies. They suggest that people who have severe egg allergies should be vaccinated in a medical setting and be supervised by a health care professional who can recognize and manage severe allergic conditions.

They also report that formaldehyde is diluted during the vaccine manufacturing process, but residual quantities of formaldehyde may be found in some current vaccines, and that the amount of formaldehyde present in some vaccines is so small compared to the concentration that occurs naturally in the body that it does not pose a safety concern.

Thanks for Reading.

Mariarosaria M.



What is Epidemiology

Epidemiology is the science that studies the causes and effects of health and disease in a population used in public health to identify risks factors for diseases, and in preventive care to monitor exposure and symptoms and to control the diffusion.

Measures of control based on knowledge of how the virus is transmitted are utilized to limit the spread of the infection. It is important to find the source, or sources of the outbreak and to identify the virus to produce the right weapons to fight and control the transmission and diffusion.

The most used system is the vaccination, and the production of vaccines takes an exceptionally long time to go through the variety of steps of preparation and tests of safety, reliability, and validation; when vaccines are not available, sanitation and disinfection and other measures of control are necessary, in addition to antiviral therapies and immune support.

Infected people are isolated from the rest of the community, and those that have been exposed to the virus are placed in quarantine. Most viral infections of humans and other animals have incubation periods during which the infection causes no signs or symptoms. Incubation periods for viral diseases range from a few days to weeks, during these periods an infected individual or animal is contagious and can infect another person or animal. This too is known for many viral infections, and knowledge of the length of both periods is important in the control of outbreaks. When outbreaks cause an unusually high proportion of cases in a population, community, or region, they are called epidemics. If outbreaks spread worldwide, they are called pandemics.

Viral epidemiology is the branch of medical science that investigates the transmission and control of virus infections in humans. Transmission of viruses can be vertical, as from mother to child, or horizontal, as from person to person. Examples of vertical transmission include hepatitis B virus and HIV, where the baby is born already infected with the virus.

Horizontal transmission is the most common mechanism of spread of viruses in populations and can occur when body fluids are exchanged by saliva, or other secrets, or when contaminated food or water is ingested. It can also occur when aerosols containing viruses are inhaled or by insect vectors, such as when infected mosquitoes penetrate the skin of a host. Most types of viruses are restricted to just one or two of these mechanisms and they are referred to as “respiratory viruses” or “enteric viruses”. The rate or speed of transmission of viral infections depends on factors like the population density, the number of susceptible individuals, as immune-deficient or with chronic disease or any other risk factors, lifestyle, health management, environment, weather and more.

Epidemiologists collect and analyze statistical data to interpret for clinical research purposes and for the monitoring of diseases. The area of study includes the etiology of diseases which is the cause, the origin, the study among people, the transmission, outbreak investigation, surveillance, and more.

Epidemic and Endemic

Epidemic and endemic both analyze mainly the virulence, the modality of transmission and the probability of contaminations.

Endemics are diseases that manifest within a population and which are recurrent, like for example, the malaria in Africa due to the environmental conditions, the vector’s multiplication, the mosquitoes genus Anopheles, and physical condition of population, or HIV among a specific population like heterosexuals and toxic dependents and which originated from a virus present in chimpanzee’.

Epidemics are those that arise periodically and with catastrophic consequences, like influenzas, for example, or infectious diseases like those from staphylococcus, or metabolic diseases like obesity, for example.

Hippocrates, the father of the Medicine was the first scientist to see the relation between diseases and environmental influence, what today is the subject of investigation of the epigenetics, the study of the external causes on genes modification, lifestyle and factors that can influence and modify a genetic pattern and causing mutations of genes that can be turned on and off based on these factors.

The evolution of a species is the result of constant struggle between inherited traits and environmental challenge, and mutations are the adaptation of a trait to survive to the natural selection. Without genetic variation there is not evolution, and some mutations confer advantages to a population to survive adverse conditions while others instead can make more susceptible to a disease. (Peter D’Adamo, Blood Type Diet Encyclopedia)

A way to express the famous laws of Charles Darwin on natural selection, adaptation to the environment and evolution, the foundational principles of Biology.

Epidemiology, as the study of the disease among population along the centuries takes consideration of these important phenomena and reasons why some of these diseases have developed by time based on mutations of species derived from drastic changes of the environment.


The chronology of epidemiology begins with the discover of the microbiology.

Around the 16th century scientists started to realize that diseases were caused from alive agents, and that the diffusion and contagious could happen throughout the air, but they still did not know about bacteria and viruses.

A new science developed based on these new founding, the hygiene, as the study of methods and ways to prevent diseases, like disinfectant agents and sterilization techniques, and simple precautions to avoid contagious.

They finally started to figure out that the cause of infections were agents that could be transferred from an individual to another, or a population to another and thanks to the development of the first microscope by Anton Van Leeuwenhoek in 1675 the Germ Theory of disease was born.

Epidemies at those times were frequent and destructive, of course, the knowledge and the tools were still not those we have at present, not vaccines, not antibiotics, or antiviral, or even more norms of modern hygiene and habits of civic populations. The Smallpox, the Black Plague, the Cholera, the Tetanus, and so on, are all diseases almost disappeared thanks to vaccinations.

Louis Pasteur, scientist of the 1800 century, French, chemist, and microbiologist was the founder of the principle of vaccination, the microbial fermentation, and the pasteurization.

His discover was of vital importance at that time and did reduce the mortality of diseases quite common in those periods like, the anthrax, the rabies and puerperal fever. Pasteur is also famous for the discover of the “spontaneous generation” where he was demonstrating with a famous experiment with putrefied meat that nothing can come from nothing, and so that microorganisms could not develop without contamination.

With the new century and advancement of biomedical science, genetic and molecular biology, statistics and epigenetics, new tools of research and analysis and collection of data have changed the spectrum of the study of the epidemiology so as the introduction of variety of conventional and alternatives therapies in addition to the restrictive roles and tools of hygiene have decreased the necessity for vaccinations in many cases.

Epidemiology today is not simply the study of the spreading of diseases mainly as infections through populations in the course of the centuries but has been extended to the analysis of the present diseases, of the diseases of the modern society:  cancer, diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular, neurodegenerative, and genetic.

The factors analyzed in relation to race, gender, and age, are usually fundamental metabolic parameters, and habits, like smoking, alcohol or drugs use, environmental exposure, stressors, chemicals, toxins, etc.

Based on these statistics the most evident correlations are always mainly between lung cancer and smoking, high blood pressure and heart disease, or blood sugar and diabetes, but thanks mainly to the integrative medicine more associations are being evaluated and considered, and for the most connected to the health of the gut microbiome and individual immune resistance.

Epidemics and Pandemics

pandemic is a worldwide epidemic. The 1918 flu pandemic, which lasted until 1919, was a category 5 influenza pandemic caused by an unusually severe and deadly influenza A virus. The victims were often healthy young adults, in contrast to most influenza outbreaks, which predominantly affect, elderly, or otherwise weakened and already debilitated patients. Older estimates were showing that it killed 40–50 million people, while more recent research suggests that it may have killed as many as 100 million people, or 5% of the world’s population in 1918.

Although viral pandemics are rare events, during the 20th century there were four pandemics caused by influenza virus and those that occurred in 1918, 1957 and 1968 were severe.

Several highly lethal viral pathogens are members of the Filoviridae. Filoviruses are filament-like viruses that cause viral hemorrhagic fever and include Ebola virus. Ebola virus disease has also caused intermittent outbreaks with high mortality rates since 1976 when it was first identified. The worst and most recent one is the 2013–2016 West Africa Epidemic.

With the exception of smallpox, most pandemics are caused by newly evolved viruses, these emergent viruses are usually mutants of less harmful viruses that have circulated previously either in humans or other animals.

Severe acute respiratory syndrome, SARS, and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, MERS, have been caused by new types of coronaviruses. Other coronaviruses are known to cause mild infections in humans, so the virulence and rapid spread of SARS infections—that by July 2003 had caused around 8,000 cases and 800 deaths—was unexpected and most countries were not prepared.

The present coronavirus, SARS Cov-2, originated in bats and responsible of the Covid-19 pandemic emerged in Wuhan, China in November 2019 and has spread rapidly around the world. Unprecedented restrictions in peacetime have been placed on international travel and imposed in several major cities worldwide with lockdown and isolation, public sanitation and regulations, and all reality has change for everyone in this world since then.

Because viruses use vital metabolic pathways within host cells to replicate, they are difficult to eliminate without using drugs that cause toxic effects to host cells in general. The most effective medical approaches to viral diseases are vaccinations to provide immunity to infection, and drugs that selectively interfere with viral replication, but today there are additional variety of alternative therapy suggested mainly to support the immune system, which is the most important tool to fight diseases, and natural compounds capable to contrast the virus multiplication or even the entrance in the host’s cells.

Thanks For Reading.

Mariarosaria M.


Epidemiology, Wikipedia

Picture by: Georgia Coastal Health District

More on Viruses

How Three People With HIV Became Virus-Free Without HIV Drugs
Picture by

Role of Viruses in Human Diseases

Examples of common human diseases caused by viruses include the common cold, influenza, chickenpox to mention some. Many serious diseases such as, AIDS, avian influenza, and SARS are caused by viruses. The ability of viruses to cause disease is called virulence.

Other diseases are under investigation to discover if they have a virus as the causative agent, such as the possible connection between human herpesvirus6, (HHV6) and neurological diseases such as multiple sclerosis and chronic fatigue syndrome. 

Viruses have different mechanisms by which they produce disease in an organism, and which depends largely on the viral species. Mechanisms at the cellular level primarily include cell lysis, the breaking open and subsequent death of the cell. In multicellular organisms, if enough cells die, the whole organism will start to suffer the effects. Although viruses cause disruption of healthy homeostasis, resulting in disease, they may exist relatively harmlessly within an organism. An example would include the ability of the herpes simplex virus, which causes cold sores, to remain in a dormant state within the human body. This is called latency and is a characteristic of the Herpes viruses, including Epstein–Barr virus, which causes glandular fever, and varicella zoster virus, which causes chickenpox and shingles. Most people have been infected with at least one of these types of herpes virus. These latent viruses might sometimes be beneficial, as the presence of the virus can increase immunity against bacterial pathogens, such as Yersinia Pestis.

Some viruses can cause lifelong or chronic infections, where the viruses continue to replicate in the body despite the host’s defense mechanisms. This is common in Hepatitis B virus and Hepatitis C virus infections. People chronically infected are known as carriers, as they serve as reservoirs of infectious virus. In populations with a high proportion of carriers, the disease is said to be endemic.

Host Defense Mechanisms

The body’s first line of defense against viruses is the innate immune system which is made by cells and other mechanisms that defend the host from infection in a non-specific manner. This means that the cells of the innate system recognize and respond to pathogens in a generic way, but it does not confer long-lasting or protective immunity to the host so as the adaptive immune system does.

RNA interference is an important innate defense against viruses, many viruses have a replication strategy that involves double-stranded RNA (dsRNA). When a virus like this infects a cell, it releases its RNA molecule or molecules which immediately bind to a protein complex that cuts the RNA into smaller pieces. A biochemical pathway ensures cell survival by degrading the viral mRNA. Rotaviruses have evolved to avoid this defense mechanism by skipping the uncoating and releasing newly produced mRNA through pores in the particle’s inner capsid. Their genomic dsRNA remains protected inside the core of the virion

When the adaptive immune system of a vertebrate encounters a virus, it produces specific antibodies that bind to the virus and often render it non-infectious. This is called humoral immunity and is performed by two types of antibodies, IgM, which are the first responders and highly effective at neutralizing viruses, but they only last for few weeks, and are the protagonists of the acute infection. The second, called IgG, are produced indefinitely. The presence of IgM in the blood of the host is used to test for acute infection, whereas IgG indicates an infection happened sometime in the past and is indicated as chronic infection.

Antibodies can continue to be an effective defense mechanism even after viruses enter the host cell. A protein called TRIM21, can attach to the antibodies on the surface of the virus particle, this promotes the subsequent destruction of the virus by the enzymes of the cell’s proteosome system.

A second defense of vertebrates against viruses is called cell-mediate immunity and involves immune cells known as T-cells. The body’s cells constantly display short fragments of their proteins on the cell’s surface, and, if a T cell recognizes a suspicious viral fragment there, the host cell is destroyed by ‘killer T’ cells and the virus-specific T-cells proliferate.

Macrophages are specialized cells at the antigen presentation. The production of interferon is an important host defense mechanism. This is a hormone produced by the body when viruses are present. Its role in immunity is complex; it eventually stops the viruses from reproducing by killing the infected cell and its close neighbors.

Not all virus infections produce a protective immune response in this way. HIV evades the immune system by constantly changing the amino acid sequence of the proteins on the surface of the virion. This is known as escape mutation as the viral epitopes escape recognition by the host immune response. These persistent viruses evade immune control by sequestration, blockade of antigen presentation, cytokine resistance, evasion of natural killer cells activities, escape from apoptosis, and antigenic shifts. Other viruses, called neurotropic viruses are disseminated by neural spread where the immune system may be unable to reach them.

Oncoviruses are an established cause of cancer in humans and other species. Viral cancers occur only in a minority of infected people (or animals). Cancer viruses come from a range of virus families, including both RNA and DNA viruses, and so there is no single type of oncovirus (an outdated term originally used for acutely transforming retroviruses). The development of cancer is determined by a variety of factors such as host immunity and mutations in the host. Viruses accepted to cause human cancers include some genotypes of human PapillomavirusHepatitis B, virus, Epstein-Barr.

Prevention and Treatment

Because viruses use vital metabolic pathways within host cells to replicate, they are difficult to eliminate without using drugs that cause toxic effects to host cells in general. The most effective medical approaches to viral diseases are vaccinations to provide immunity to infection, and antiviral drugs that selectively interfere with viral replication.

Vaccination is an inexpensive and effective way of preventing infections by viruses. Vaccines were used to prevent viral infections long before the discovery of the actual viruses. Their use has resulted in a dramatic decline in morbidity or illness and mortality associated with viral infections such as poliomeaslesmumps and rubellaSmallpox infections have been eradicated. Vaccines can consist of live-attenuated or killed viruses, or viral proteins called antigens. Live vaccines contain weakened forms of the virus, which do not cause the disease but, nonetheless, confer immunity, such viruses are called attenuated. Live vaccines can be dangerous when given to people with a weak immunity who are immunocompromised, because in these people, the weakened virus can cause the original disease. Biotechnology and genetic engineering techniques are used to produce subunit vaccines. These vaccines use only the capsid proteins of the virus. Hepatitis B vaccine is an example of this type of vaccine. Subunit vaccines are safe for immunocompromised patients because they cannot cause the disease. 

Antiviral drugs are often nucleoside analogues, fake DNA building-blocks, which viruses mistakenly incorporate into their genomes during replication. The life cycle of the virus is then halted because the newly synthesized DNA is inactive. This is because these analogues lack the hydroxyl groups, which, along with phosphorus atoms, link together to form the strong “backbone” of the DNA molecule. This is called DNA chain termination. Examples of nucleoside analogues are acyclovir for Herpes simplex virus infections and lamivudine for HIV and Hepatitis B virus infections. Acyclovir is one of the oldest and most frequently prescribed antiviral drugs. Other antiviral drugs in use target different stages of the viral life cycle. HIV is dependent on a proteolytic enzyme called the HIV-1 protease for it to become fully infectious. There is a large class of drugs called protease inhibitors that inactivate this enzyme.

Hepatitis C is caused by an RNA virus. In 80% of people infected, the disease is chronic, and without treatment, they are infected for the remainder of their lives. There is now an effective treatment that uses the nucleoside analogue drug ribavirin combined with interferon. For chronic carriers of the hepatitis B virus has been developed a new treatment that uses a similar strategy with the drug lamivudine.

Thanks for Reading

Mariarosaria M.


Wikipedia Encyclopedia.