Pneumonia Vaccine Shown to Actually Increase Bacterial Infections It Is Supposed to Prevent
By Dr. Mercola
It's estimated that nearly one in 7 U.S. adults have been diagnosed with sinusitis in the past 12 months, which occurs when the mucous membranes in your nose and sinuses become irritated.i In most of these cases (90-98%) a virus is the cause, whereas in 2-10% of cases, a bacterial infection is also present.
These bacterial infections are becoming increasingly drug-resistant and therefore harder and harder to treat, which is why the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) recently issued new treatment guidelines for sinusitis.
Alarmingly, however, buried on page 16 of their report is the acknowledgement that certain hard-to-treat bacterial infections in children are on the rise because of the widespread use of the conjugated pneumococcal vaccines!
Bacterial Infections on the Rise Since Introduction of the Pneumonia Vaccine
The IDSA report states:ii
" ... both the prevalence of H. influenzae (40%– 45%) and proportion of b-lactamase–producing H. influenzae (37%–50%) (extrapolated from middle ear fluid cultures of children with acute otitis media) have markedly increased among other upper respiratory tract infections since the widespread use of conjugated pneumococcal vaccines... Whereas S. pneumoniae was more common than H. influenzae prior to 2000, the prevalence of H. influenzae has clearly increased while that of S. pneumoniae has decreased in the post–pneumococcal vaccine era, such that currently they are approximately equal … "
In the United States the Prevnar vaccine, which is used to prevent pneumoccocal disease that can cause meningitis and bloodstream infections in young children, was licensed in 2000 and has been given to infants in four shots between the age of 2 months and 15 months. The vaccine originally covered seven and now covers 13 of the 90-odd strains of the Streptococcus bacteria.
Although pneumoccocal disease caused by seven pneumoccoal strains in the 7-valent Prevnar vaccine declined after widespread use, one pneumoccocal strain called 19A developed super resistance and is now causing pneumoccocal disease that is antibiotic-resistant.
In 2010, the FDA licensed a 13-valent pneumococcal vaccine to cover more strains, including 19A, in an attempt to interrupt transmission of pneumococcal disease, which is associated with over 80 different strains of pneumococcal. The health community has known for years that non-vaccine S. pneumoniae serotypes had not only quickly replaced the seven included in the original Prevnar vaccine, but were also causing invasive non-vaccine-type pneumonia to increase by 71 percent. Writing in the journal Emerging Infectious Disease, researchers stated:iii
"In the Netherlands, PCV-7 [the 7-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine] offered high protection against vaccine-serotype IPD in vaccinated children, but increases of non–vaccine-serotype IPD reduced net vaccine benefits."
That's the reason U.S. officials introduced the new 13-valent pneumonia vaccine—to hopefully keep the replacement serotypes at bay. However, history suggests that both antibiotics and vaccines may be intricately involved in the evolution of pneumonia superbugs.
Pneumonia Bacteria Swapped Genes Before Prevnar Hit the Market
A new analysis by a team of international researchers revealed the complete genetic makeup of 240 samples of a strain of Streptococcus pneumonia taken between 1984-2008, which allowed the researchers to note changes over time.iv The strain, known as the Pneumococcal Molecular Epidemiology Network clone 1 or PMEN1, is resistant to several antibiotics. There were several interesting revelations, including:
· The pneumonia strain emerged when penicillin was frequently used, but because it was not killed by penicillin, it flourished
· The strain changes one of its DNA nucleotides about every 15 weeks, a rate of mutation similar to that of the common antibiotic-resistant superbug MRSA
· One way the bacteria mutate is with a sugar coating called a polysaccharide capsule; PMEN1 has a capsule called 23F, which was included as a target in the Prevnar vaccine. However, by the time the vaccine hit the market, the bacteria had already morphed into a new serotype called 19A, which the vaccine did not work against.
Wired Science reported:v
"The study "illustrates that these genes are under enormous selection pressure due to human interference with antibiotics and vaccines," says Garth Ehrlich, a bacterial pathologist at the Allegheny-Singer Research Institute in Pittsburgh. Mapping the organism's past genetic contortions may not help researchers predict what the bacteria will do next, but the analysis shows that some genes are particularly prone to changes and probably are not good vaccine targets, he says."
A secondary problem is that the overuse of antibiotics for ear and sinus infections has also caused these serotypes to become resistant to antibiotics. Researchers reported in Science:vi
"More than 700 recombinations were detected, with genes encoding major antigens frequently affected. Among these were 10 capsule-switching events, one of which accompanied a population shift as vaccine-escape serotype 19A isolates emerged in the USA after the introduction of the conjugate polysaccharide vaccine. The evolution of resistance to fluoroquinolones, rifampicin, and macrolides [antibiotics] was observed to occur on multiple occasions."
Will Vaccines Leave a Legacy of Superbugs and Diseases?
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