Coronado Trial Failures, so called, study design, corruption of medical profession

I want to point out that the Coronado Biosciences TSO trials in the United States, and their results, or lack thereof, have nothing to do with our organisms or approach.

We use a profoundly different pair of organisms, with humans as their definitive hosts. They are adapted to us.

TSO has pigs as its definitive host, so our immune system rapidly destroys them. Any beneficial effect comes from the distraction of the immune system by regular dosing. May as well, as usefully, use fleas or scabies or lice, seriously.

Our organisms modulate the human immune system, by secreting molecules that regulate and alter our immune posture and response, particularly to inflammation. They have to maintain their long period of residence in us. TSO last a couple of weeks, then you need a new dose. Not much immuno-modulation there.

Our results are obtained by asking a fundamentally different question than that asked by scientists.

We have always asked, how can we make this individual well by using helminths within safe limits to restore the ecosystems defined by their bodies.

Scientist ask narrow questions so they can isolate and make reproducible results based on controlling for as many variables as possible, and see how things vary in a very narrow range of inspection. Conducting such a study for so little time, is absurd. They must have known this, as Prtichard must in his failed published, and failed unplublished, studies. If you are wondering, the failed unpublished is his asthma hookworm study, they used too few hookworm to produce any real results.

I have shouted enough already about more worms, for more times. But once more, two years, hookworm in an adult healthy male, 125 hookworm with monitoring of population and possible supplemental doses after six to nine months.

Those are rough guides, IBD and Coeliac disease, intestinal allergies/food allergies, are more complex to manage.

Chronic Fatigue and Fibromyalgia symptoms and history indicate the need for special handling.

How about some real science gentlemen, and a real indication of interest in using these organisms therapeutically instead of the sad mill of drug development everyone is so tired of, except the patent holders and their monopoly profits.

I recently learned Weinstock, Lee and Summers are shareholders in Ovamed, and so stand to benefit substantially from Coronado’s success financially, with very large payments due if the trials of Ovamed succeed, so maybe they torpedoed it to sink that large liability.

On a related issue, this link and story did not get enough notice when I published it a while ago, I got it when I closed my membership in WebMD Professional.

http://www.jasper-lawrence.com/what-a-word-means/ and the word is Honorarium, haha.

I was asked “Do you only participate in programs sponsored by pharmaceutical companies when an honorarium is offered?

Meaning a payment to attend, which is corrupt.

Is your doctor only interested in hearing people, in this case drug companies, talk when they are paid to attend?

Perhaps you should ask them?

See our page on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/autoimmunetherapies

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Another great result for Crohn’s, this time in an adult

In his words, edited to remove any identifying phrases or words:

“Today marks exactly (Jasper, while it did not take this long for him to respond, he was slow to respond as I recall, and this should be born in mind by anyone on or considering therapy) days (20 months) since I have taken immunosuppressive medication of any kind. I suffer moderate to severe Crohn’s, since 2006. I dosed with hookworm late 2010 (22 months ago), and twice in 2011. After three doses totalling 150 worms, I estimate that the hookworm alone achieves 85% symptom relief for me. I rejoice at the phenomenal benefit to my life. It would be no exaggeration to call my case a small miracle. I hope to continue to experience this degree of relief.”

No drugs, quite a result, and not atypical.

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Only in America! Let’s hope so.

Patent: Further information: Association for Molecular Pathology, et al. v. United States Patent and Trademark Office, et al.

Methods to isolate and detect BRCA1 and BRCA2 (Breast cancer genes) were patented in the United States by Myriad Genetics. (So just so everyone is clear, this company has effectively patented a part of the human genome, human genes. There are lots of examples of this kind of idiocy, including famously a Texas company patenting Basmati Rice and then seeking to prevent Indian & Pakistani growers from selling their rice under the name Basmati any longer in jurisdictions covered by the patent).

This US patent has been challenged by the American Civil Liberties Union. On March 29, 2010, a coalition led by the American Civil Liberties Union ACLU successfully challenged the basis of Myriad’s patents in New York District Court. The patent was invalidated, but the decision was appealed.

On July 29, 2011 the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit made their decision and ruled that Myriads patents are valid.

Effect on Gene Testing
The conditions of Myriad’s BRCA patent require that the only laboratories legally allowed to test and sequence the genes are the ones affiliated with Myriad. This exclusive control over BRCA testing, guaranteed by the patent, has prevented peer-reviewed validation of the tests provided by Myriad.

Since the BRCA test is marketed directly to the consumer, it is not subject to government oversight by agencies like the FDA.

Without this government review, gene tests must be studied and assessed by scientific colleagues in a peer review. However, the kind of studies needed to validate the tests require access to the BRCA genes, which are protected by Myriad’s restrictive patent. (Is this funny, tragicomic, enraging, befuddling, ludicrous, or just the free-market?)

Thus, without access to the genes (meaning you cannot even study them without paying Myriad a patent license fee, assuming they are willing to grant it, in the USA – like I said, you could not make this up) or the methods used to sequence them, peer review of the test’s effectiveness is virtually impossible. (here I have to disagree, it is impossible unless you pay Myriad for the use of their patents to study their methods to determine if they are actually effective. Genius, I wish I had a patent on you.)

However, the patents have yet to be enforced in Europe, where BRCA research and testing is becoming more widely available, and several laboratories are currently offering their own BRCA testing. The UK firm NewGene offers the test at a very competitive price, to the NHS, its owner, only. (Equally surreal and non-sensical, of course. But cheaper…)

Legal decisions surrounding the BRCA1 and BRCA2 patents hold particular bearing on the field of genetic testing, as the field is relatively young. Until legal guidelines can be applied to the practice of gene testing, progress in the field will likely suffer due to uncertainty. Any decision made regarding the BRCA patents will likely become precedent for future disputes over the use of genes for testing.

via BRCA1 – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

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Facebook Page for Helminthic Therapy

Hi, we have long had a well maintained and regularly updated FB page, fed in part via our Twitter account. It gets a lot of activity, daily, with links to news, etc.,

To visit go here, and if you just want the twitter feed the address is @wormtherapy (@helminthictherapy was too long, as much as I dislike the term worm therapy it was that or nothing.).

I hope you find these resources useful.

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Part 4: The Story of “A”

This is, as the title suggests, one in a series of posts, almost entirely derived from emails from her family that they send me periodically to keep us up-to-date.

At the end of this post, and in a few minutes all the others, is a standard block of text with links to each part of the story of this child, as well as some additional information.

———–

From the child’s father:

“It has been over two years now since we began treating Crohn’s disease in our daughter, “A”, using helminthic therapy.

Specifically human whipworm, from Autoimmune Therapies, and she is today doing better then ever. She was around 21 months old when we started helminthic therapy, she had been diagnosed at 14 months of age, and had not responded to any attempted treatment of the disease, except steroids.

She is now over three and a half, and is as happy, healthy, and as beautiful as any parent could want from a child.

Two years ago my wife and I could have only hoped the future should be so bright for her, and us.

A has now taken four doses of the helminths, and each time her condition has only improved.

I can assure you it was not a straight line to good health, but rather a gradual improvement. Like any good, long term investment, there were setbacks along the way. Despite our better judgment, every time there was blood or diarrhea, in the back of our minds, we would wonder if it was the beginning of a major flare, one that would require the drugs we tried so hard to avoid for her.

But the reality was that it never even came close to that. There is no doubt she is doing better now then a year ago, and certainly two years ago. She continues to gain weight, in fact she is 34 pounds, and her stools continue to improve. We have even begun introducing different foods to her diet, with fantastic results.She can play endlessly with her sisters, is as cheerful as could be, and she is even a little chubby, something we’ll take any day of the week over the alternative.

She has not taken any medication for the Crohn’s disease since shortly after she began helminthic therapy.

Suffice to say, treating our little girl with helminthic therapy was the single best decision we could have made, given the circumstance. The treatment has enabled her to live a normal life with Crohn’s disease, rather then one riddled with pain and fatigue, pills, injections, and steroids.

It is not lost on our family, the thought that today we can focus on teaching “A” to read, and swim, and good manners, rarely worrying or even thinking about the fact that she has Crohn’s disease, instead of living in the bleak future we imagined for her, and us, two and a half short years ago.

I’m proud of what we did for her, and we’re thankful to Autoimmune Therapies for the opportunity to do it.”

End of email.

As it happens I am proud too, particularly of those who work with me to do this. I talk a lot, too much perhaps in the past, of the sacrifices my family has made. Far too little has been said about the team working with me.

All, in different ways, are making very considerable sacrifices to be able to make sure people like “A” continue to get the probiotics they need. Our chief scientist, who had a very good career before I came along, has essentially sacrificed that to peruse this. That is just one easy example to identify and explain.

One day soon I hope that it will be possible to acknowledge their courage, the risks and sacrifices they have made, and to do so completely publicly. I am the figurehead for a group of people who are all intelligent, hard-working, dedicated, principled and very high-integrity individuals.

All intelligent enough to not want their name to appear on my blog.

Here’s to hoping that will one day change and their accomplishments and courage can be lauded publicly.

Links to rest of series on “A”

“A” was under 2 years old when diagnosed with Crohn’s Colitis, and the disease appears from the family’s descriptions to have been severe and aggressive. They approached us when the recommendation for treatment from the child’s Gastroenterologist was one of the biologics, either Remicade or Humira, I cannot remember which.

Below are links to each of the four posts, so far, which for the most part are just emails from the child’s dad on “A’s” progress, and his thoughts and observations.

Managing the links between the posts has become cumbersome, so I have created this standard block of links to tie the story together, explain the context if someone happens upon one of the posts and does not realise they are part of a series, and will probably make a static page to aggregate the whole thing.

Part 1: Part 1 of the story of “A”

Part 2: Part 2 of the story of “A”

Part 3: Part 3 of the story of “A”

Part 4: Part 4 of the story of “A”

Posted in Crohn's disease, Jasper Lawrence, juvenile colitis, whipworm | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

What a word means

When I still lived in the US and Sani Abacha was the suddenly dead president of Nigeria, and it was therefore discovered he had looted billions for him and his family from the Nigerian treasury, some of my friends in the US were aghast at the scale of his corruption. Apparently they did not read much international news.

At any rate my comment was “At least their leaders get a decent price”. Which perhaps explains this map. This is a map of world corruption based on perception, opinion.

In this case, in the accompanying image, a screenshot from my unsubscibing from WebMD Professional, as in for doctors, I was asked the reasons for my leaving.

Amongst which is the most interesting: “Do you only participate in programs sponsored by pharmaceutical companies when an honorarium is offered”.

Honorarium, far more mellifluous a word than any alternative.

how drug companies bribe doctors

Unsubscribe screen shot composite from WebMD “Professional”.

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The context of helminthic therapy and the environmental diseases it can be used to ameliorate

I want to emphasise that I believe what we are doing exists in a much broader, well-established context.

The diseases we are trying to work with are all environmental in origin. The hygiene hypothesis essentially says that because we have impoverished the environments defined by our bodies by reducing the variety of organisms that populate us, we are getting sick.

Helminthic therapy is an attempt to restore health by remediating the ecosystem formed by the subject’s body. As in the reintroduction of wolves to control deer populations.

I believe that the most important, eventual, outcome of what we are doing will be to get mankind to see that our health is intricately intwined with our environment. That hundreds of millions of people are already sick right now because of anthropogenic environmental change.

That the environment, our ecosystem, is not something up in the sky or separate from us. That it is part of us, and intricately connected with us, our health, our daily lives, that we are component parts of one integrated, dynamic system.

That the ecosystems defined by our bodies and immediate environment, and our daily habits, have been so damaged that hundreds of millions of people are living lives limited by pain, fear and suffering.

If we succeed in that then a profound change in human behaviour towards our planet will occur. Because everyone will be conscious of their direct stake, theirs or their children’s health, in the health of the planet as an immediate phenomena. Not as some distant possibility that we might be able to put off by using the recycling bins.

That there are not ecosystems, except as artificial concepts. There is an ecosystem, and everyone”s health depends on it in profound and immediate ways, because we are all part of it.

We are the ecosystem. I am the ecosystem. You are the ecosystem.

Further, right now, our species in the industrialised and industrialising world, is under enormous selection pressure. Those with MS or Crohn’s, just two instances, will be much less likely to choose to procreate.

Ironically it is likely that many of the diseases we can address with helminthic therapy arise out of genetic adaptation to parasite/microbe rich environments. So in a sense the best adapted specimens, the very latest genetic models of humans, are those experiencing the worst consequences of environmental change.

We are witnessing not just the extinction of various species, but also a strong and rapid change in mankind’s genetic makeup.

I recognise that we should not attempt to “boil the ocean” as a friend used to put it, but I think if we frame this correctly we will find more allies than at first it might appear, and be able to present the concept of what we want to achieve in a more recognisable, and palatable, framework. We can just fit in, perhaps, rather than trying to present something entirely alien. If we are another environmental cause our pool of allies increase, and our messages are easier to understand, fit within a contextual and conceptual framework that is familiar.

That really is it for a while, enjoy your summers. Get outside, get dirt under your fingernails, get some sunshine, and get some river water down your nose.

Posted in ecosystem, helminthic therapy, helminthic therapy research, hookworm, hygiene hypothesis, whipworm | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

The Story of Autoimmune Therapies Since November, 2009. Part 1

I have read a lot of quite strong worded, and very definite, comments about me or Autoimmune Therapies, often by people who have never met me. I have to admit that I avoid public forums on the subject of helminthic therapy because of this, and because I see a very loud minority expressing viewpoints which do not vary with contradictory information from good sources (not just me). I still find it disturbing to read people, as one for instance, doubting that we were visited by the FDA, that I went to Africa, etc., while saying these were just publicity stunts by me. Most of these people have never met me, and it is this group that seems to hold the strongest opinions. I find this odd.

Because I do not inhabit these forums, nor provide corrective replies, I am growing concerned that some people may give them credence just because I never bother replying.

So, over the next few months, as I get time, I will tell the story, with the help of Marc and Michelle, who were there from very early on, of Autoimmune Therapies.

Also, the story which is probably the best known, my account of going to Africa on Kuro5hin.org, was written without an understanding of how their system worked. Having started writing it on a whim, I stopped at some time in the middle of the night, when I woke up late the next day I found the article locked and being voted on for publication. I had intended to correct various bits by referring back to the basic science again, and was far from finished writing it.

So hopefully this will fulfil the objectives of providing my side of our story, as well as bits of Marc’s and Michelle’s, and a corrective to the incomplete version published on K5.

I am going to break the story up into these parts, with these titles:

Part 2. Developing asthma, going through the medical mill, and learning their might be hope after all.

Part 3. Researching hookworm and other helminths, trying desperately to obtain them from a source that did not require me to travel.

Part 4. Going to Cameroon to obtain hookworm, unfortunately the wrong type.

Part 5. Meeting Garin and my further attempts to obtain the correct species of hookworm.

Part 6. The start of Autoimmune Therapies, and providing therapy from Mexico.

Part 7. The decision to ship from Santa Cruz, CA in the USA to everyone using FedEx.

Part 8. The FDA visit, and the immediate aftermath.

Part 9. Two years, just about, of profound depression and drift.

Part 10. Contact by an inspirational client and the beginning of the end of depression. Contact by the MHRA, what it meant for us and for Helminthic Therapy, current plans and projects.

Part 11. The future, as I see it.

I should have part 2 up and done by January 15th, don’t hesitate to hassle me if it does not show up by that date. I am insanely busy, my work days typically never end before 2 am, and often not before 6 or 7 am. I am gripped by the kind work aholicism which has always possessed me when I am working on something I love.

Yes, I wake up late.

Jasper Lawrence
© 2011

Posted in History of Autoimmune Therapies | Tagged , | 12 Comments

Why acquiring hookworm the old-fashioned way is a baaaad idea

I was asked about a month or more ago to address the topic of acquiring hookworm as I did the first time, and the dangers inherent in doing so. By which I mean going to Cameroon and walking barefoot in the latrine areas of the locals, as I described shortly after doing so here.

The person who contacted me was rightly concerned at posts he had read of people suggesting that they do just that, to save on the expense of purchasing hookworm.

As I describe in the post linked to above, before I went to Africa to get hookworm I considered the many risks associated with doing so, and I only accepted those risk because I had spent 18 months scouring the internet for sources of hookworm, or any other of the various types of helminths I considered safe.

I could not get the ova or larvae from laboratory supply companies, from universities with parasitology departments studying the organisms, nor by locating the areas in the USA where hookworm infection is still endemic because so many people in the S. Eastern US, and Appalachia in particular, still live as they did before Rockefeller’s eradication program began in the 1920s. What every health department I called, in Georgia, Mississippi, Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, Louisiana and I am sure a few others, all said was something like, “I know we do have cases in our State, but it is not a reportable disease, and so we have no idea where you would find people with hookworm infections”.

I contacted the various universities with parasitology program, I lied, cajoled, begged, offered to pay large sums, i tried to enrol in the programs at Nottingham (the only then active study, into allergies, was full).

I emailed or called every laboratory supply company I could find, no dice. The closest I got was a dead adult hookworm mounted on a slide for parasitology classes.

I tried everything to avoid going abroad to acquire hookworm for the following reasons:

The high risk of acquiring mosquito borne diseases like Malaria, Dengue fever, Filariasis (leading to Elephantiasis, incurable). Those borne by other insects, like trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness), West Nile Virus (Nasty!!!), Leishmaniasis (avoid the photographs), the Plague and while most forms are treatable pneumonic can be fatal in less than a week and the mortality rate if untreated is 100%.

Obtaining medical care in Africa is not a happy prospect if you really need it. For instance when I visited the hospital in Limbé the regional capital, when I approached the building I thought the hospital must be behind it because this building was clearly intended for keeping animals. I am deadly serious.

Medicines, including clean syringes had to be supplied by the patients, which is why if you to to Africa besides your anti malaria’s, antibiotics for cholera, shots for typhoid, and cholera (not very effective and makes you feel like dog meat), shots for all the hepatitis versions, etc., you have to take a supply of various syringes so you can be sure of not having one reused on you.

After all the official rate of HIV infection in Cameroon is about 20%, and given that life expectancy there is 47 this means that probably about 50% of adults in Cameroon are HIV positive.

Yellow fever of course, but a requirement of entry to countries where it is endemic is proof of inoculation. Which is good because it destroys your liver in a trice. Then there is Typhus fever (interesting thing: “The first reliable description of the disease appears during the Spanish siege of Moorish Granada in 1489. These accounts include descriptions of fever and red spots over arms, back and chest, progressing to delirium, gangrenous sores, and the stink of rotting flesh. During the siege, the Spaniards lost 3,000 men to enemy action but an additional 17,000 died of typhus.”).

Don’t forget TB, much of which is now totally resistant to antibiotics, interesting thing it can affect your bones as well as your lungs, so your bones crumble away.

Getting bored with listing diseases, there are too many more to want to continue, so just going to list the highlights, you can look them up on Wikipedia: Leptospirosis, Lassa Fever, Ebola & Marburg Viruses (your hemorragic fevers), Schistosomiasis, Rabies, Diphtheria, etc., etc., etc.

Then there are the water borne diseases, meaning you have to stay away from fresh water, whether flowing or still. Don’t forget all the large predators, some that live in water that are above you on the food chain in Africa.

My favourite story was of a German tourist who was told not to swim in the lake by the hotel he was staying in, heedless of the advice he did just that, and was a crocodile’s dinner as a result).

Hippos eat people, too.

There are many other diseases, among which are Polio. If memory serves the eradication effort failed because a bunch of religious lunatics in Nigeria refused vaccination at the end of the global eradication program, Cameroon is next door. But I am getting tired of listing them, that last link takes you to the CDC page for travel advisories for Cameroon and I think lists most of the diseases.

Of course the greatest danger to life and limb in Cameroon does not come from disease or predators, although there are tigers on Mount Cameroon, the second highest mountain in Africa, and it’s largest active volcano. I walked up part of it and down to where it had bisected the road to Nigeria, the flow was enormous.

No, the greatest danger to life and limb in the third world comes from the citizens of the country you are visiting most of the time.

The only guide book to Cameroon warned that cars were the greatest risk, I laughed at that given what I had read about the diseases. But so it proved.

In just two weeks in the country I came upon three accidents, shortly after they had happened, involving fatalities. In one memorable case four in one car that had burned. Quite an image, plus countless others, not involving fatalities, one involving a large gravel truck, a minibus, and a motorcycle.

The minibus had been tossed down the slope next to the road and its contents and passengers distributed at random hither, thither, and yon, along with all their possessions. They seemed to be in the worst shape, the motorcyclist seemed fine, but the passengers in the minibus were all moaning and gripping various body parts, heads in particular.

I was once in a taxi that was one of four cars simultaneously overtaking another car while two cars, one overtaking, came at us in the other direction.

Exciting!

There are no driving tests, few seat belts, no visible police outside the capital, no road signs, only one paved road (from the capital to the oil refinery) that I saw outside the capital, no signs, or road markings. There are only a couple of fire stations in the capital, and I doubt even that many in the rest of the country. Both are quite near the presidential palace by some freak of chance.

As to an ambulance, forget it. If you cannot get yourself to the hospital you aren’t going to make it, and even if you do, see description of hospital in Limbé as reference, I would not rate your chances unless your wounds were very superficial.

The drivers all navigate by honking constantly, as if an audible warning, amongst 3-15 all at once is a license to do just about anything.

The taxis are interesting, I and my traveling companion who I took with me so we could take turns sleeping in dodgy situations, and glad I did, got in a taxi, paid our fair, and waited to take off. Bear in mind almost no one owns a private car in Cameroon, most cars on the road are taxis, and almost universally they are Toyota Tercel sized vehicles that are exported from Germany by the container full, after they fail their road worthiness tests and are deemed by their owners not worth fixing.

We were waiting in one such vehicle, and as the morning rush hour, almost all on foot, passed by the taxi driver slowly filled the Tercel up until there were five passengers in the back seat, and two in the front passenger seat, of which I was one. Then we set off.

When we arrived in the country, in the capital Yaoundé, at night, we got a taxi, were greeted by a woman with skirt hiked to mid thigh standing with legs apart pissing in the street immediately we left the airport.

Within five kilometres the taxi had run out of diesel, so the taxi driver took part of his fair in advance, flagged down one of his friends driving by in another taxi and disappeared into the dark to fetch some diesel. He returned with a one litre soda bottle full of diesel about a half an hour later, and off we went to the capital. All dirt roads.

Then there is the issue of wealth, Cameroon and countries like it where the money economy shows an average daily wage of about a dollar fifty US a day and where family sizes are large, means that parents frequently watch their children die for lack of medicine costing a few dollars.

Such people, when confronted by a white man, perhaps the first they have ever seen as was the case with many I met, must know that your pocket change represents one to three months wages. Ask yourself if you would hesitate to rob, or even kill, to get that money living in that situation. I know my children would come before some white asshole from a country so rich, and that cared so little for the world’s poor.

I heard many stories relating to Cameroonians returning from living in America having saved enough money to build a nice house (about $25K for a four or five bedroom mansion of you are interested) being taken for a ride on the Bay by their old friends and ending up as fish bait for the money in their pockets. I was offered almost a kilometre of beach front property outside Limbé for $10K.

Life is cheap in places like Cameroon, and if you go there you can expect to be exhausted from the constant danger, and the tension it causes.

The last night we were there we spent at a deputy chief of police’s house in Yaoundé, the capital. When we woke up, thanks to the Mosque broadcasting the morning call to prayer at dawn and all the roosters crowing their guts out, we found the power was out. We soon realised it was just the house we were in. What had happened was that someone had stolen her electricity meter, while the power was live through it, in the middle of the night.

She was not surprised, apparently it happens quite often, but not always with a successful outcome, of course. That is how poor people are.

Before I went there I reasoned that I was most likely to return without any disease, next most likely to return with the wrong disease, and would be lucky to return with hookworm.

My original plan was to work with the local pathology labs and doctors to identify infected children, collect a stool sample, culture it (easy in its natural environment) and so infect myself that way.

I quickly learned that that level of poverty makes everyone corrupt. It is not just the ruling class, everyone is on the make, and being white you are the best opportunity to come along in a long time. It took me about four, wasted, days to work out that the doctors and labs were just waiting to see how much I was willing to pay, and that there was no guarantee I would get what I paid for at all.

It was only then that I resorted to walking barefoot in latrine areas.

One can consider such a thing and believe it will be easy to do, but when the time came the only thing that made me do it was the thought of returning home to all those who had decided, clearly and often expressing naked derision, that I was a lunatic for considering infecting myself, never mind going to Africa.

The thought of having to tell them that I did not have the balls to do it was all that compelled me to do it in the end.

Then there is the cost, once you add up the price of two plane tickets, one for you and one for your wingman, all the other travel expenses (the vaccinations are a killer), etc., it is certainly far, far cheaper to buy it from one of the providers.

Plus the outcome is certain, there is no guarantee you will come back with any disease, let alone the right one.

So unless you want the adventure, and I have to admit Cameroon made me feel more alive, and more appreciative of living in the West, than anything I have ever done, I suggest you be sensible and just buy it from someone.

Our policy is that no one is turned down for therapy on the basis of the inability to pay.

If you are pissed off with the price and think it should be cheaper, you know, based on cost of the raw material, I suggest you read this post.

I did what I did only because there were no alternatives, if I could have bought it, even at double what we charge, especially given my experiences in Cameroon, I would have.

I was very lucky, I met a cousin of the Prime Minister on the plane there, and her husband who managed a French owned banana plantation. They happened to live in the darkest area of the map provided by the WHO showing the highest rates of hookworm infection in Cameroon, Limbé. They kept me prisoner once we arrived in town, I kid you not, until they had convinced me and my companion of the danger we were in traveling around the country.

To persuade us to stay with them they went so far as to lend us his car and driver for the duration of our stay. I doubt you would be so lucky, and without that I am pretty sure we would likely have been in grave danger.

They employed six or so people around the house, one of which worked from 6 am to 6pm, and another the other twelve hours. The guy who worked during the day walked around the walled grounds all day with a revolver and machete, and the night clerk slept on the bare tile floor in front of the front door with a gun and machete in his hands, all night. No pillow, no blanket, no mattress. A hard man, a serious man, a man without a sense of humour.

The windows were all barred, the doors all locked with multiple locks, and the man of the house had multiple hand guns to back up the guards.

That is the third world, and if you think visiting it is a bargain compared to buying a sterilised dose of helminths from us, go right ahead.

But don’t say I didn’t warn you, and make sure your life insurance is paid up, and that your will is up-to-date.

Posted in helminthic therapy, hookworm | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Negative blood test results for Strongyloides and infectious disease in AIT Reservoir

Updated December, 2011

I am the primary reservoir for production of doses of hookworm and whipworm for AIT’s version of helminthic therapy, and there has been fairly constant unfounded speculation as to my current status re infection with Hepatitis, HIV, etc., and the helminth Strongyloides.

As you can see (you can download the test results here: “Reservoir_Test_Results.zip”) I am negative for everything I was tested for, including Strongyloides. Please note that the tests were performed by one of the oldest and most prestigious schools of Tropical Medicine in the World, the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine.

Although I think only a handful of people have ever asked me about such test results (in over four years of being in business providing hookworm and whipworm) those that do are very interested in the results. Perhaps others that are very interested don’t mention it for some reason? As I explain later, I am certain sure such concern is NOT appropriate.

It would be nice to know what level of interest there really is given that these blood results were very expensive, about $750/£500/€602. Given the expense, hassle and apparent relative lack of interest, if you are keen to see me continue getting these types of test please let me know via comments here or anywhere on this blog.

The only value in the test is to reassure people, falsely, since they provide absolutely no guarantee, except in stool examinations for worms like strongyloides, that the person is not infected. Besides which, in fact because of this, anyone preparing doses of helminths for other people has to take steps as if the host is infected with everything, to do otherwise would be irresponsible.

The reasons for this are manifold.

First, you cannot test for every possible pathogen. I doubt I have enough blood for such a comprehensive panel, even if I had the money.

Secondly, a negative test result, unless the disease is an exotic, hard-to-encounter-unless-you-travel-to-some-weird place, organism like Strongyloides, cannot be entirely relied upon because most tests are for antibodies, not for the actual pathogen.

So there is inevitably a period of time, referred to as the Window, in someone recently infected who carries one of these diseases where they are not yet producing any, or sufficient, antibodies to show up on a test.

If you are at all familiar with the HIV test you already know this. The interval between exposure to HIV and being able to test positive is up to six months, and in rare cases say when there is coincident Hepatitis C exposure (or use of prophylactic therapy), even longer. Even if you are being tested monthly, or more frequently, for every human disease going, you still do not know whether or not you have picked up something since your last test, or if they are in the Window period.

Third, some diseases cannot be tested for, although the pathogen has been identified. No test has been developed. So you cannot test for everything.

Fourth, some diseases clearly have an infectious component, but that vector or agent has yet to be identified.

So the results should have no effect on dose preparation, and although it may be reassuring to know that your reservoir is not a cesspool of human disease, such reassurance is illusory.

What you should really be concerned about is whether the person preparing the dose has the requisite knowledge, skills and experience, and is caring and attentive each and every time they are in the lab. I would like to note here that half the full-time staff of Autoimmune Therapies are PhDs, one with a career working in labs with microorganisms, one that was regularly tested for compliance by among other organisations the FDA and NIH. The other was a practicing Clinical Pathologist working with tissue, stool and body fluid samples, for the National Health Service, also in an inspected facility. Among both their duties was obtaining and maintaining the requisite accreditations and approvals necessary for the lab to operate within the law.

Having said all that if it is important to you I am happy to submit to any test you desire, at any time, so long as you are willing to pay for it. That would include any test prior to preparation of your dose if you want. I would also be happy to sign a waiver pre-test arranging for the results to be sent directly to you from the lab performing the tests.

Jasper

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