Readers of ERV know the basics of how breast feeding affects the immune system of breast-feeding babbies:

Fetuses (fetii?) and babbies are protected from pathogens, even though their own immune systems have not matured yet. How do they manage this feat? They steal antibodies from Mommy!

Remember yesterday I said the same antibody can have lots of different butt-ends? The same ‘business end’ that recognizes tetanus toxin or a variant of influenza, but different back-ends– each different butt has a different skill set.

… Newborn Babbies steal Moms antibodies a different way! IgM and IgA antibodies have a superpower that lets them be secreted– in tears, in saliva, in mucus, and in breast milk! As long as Babby is breastfeeding, it gets all of Mommys secreted antibodies! Yay!

So, if Mom has been properly vaccinated, she has antibodies to measles, mumps, chicken pox, etc etc etc, and those are transmitted to Babby and protect it, if Babby is directly exposed to a pathogen. If Mom is exposed, her antibodies probably keep the pathogen from replicating/establishing infection at all, so Fetus and Babby are safe if their contact is indirect too.

YAY!!!

Idiot, arrogant anti-vaxers, however, are not enslaved by reality, like you and I:

They came to the conclusion that breastmilk, which is packed with immune-building immunoglobulin A (IgA), lactoferrin, lysozyme, and various other important immune factors, inhibits the vaccine from working.

IgA is not ‘immune building’. IgA from Mommy via breast milk to Babby is passive immunity. Its there for a while, but then it goes away.

And it actually turns out, Mommy–>Babby IgA might be the polar opposite of ‘immune building’: immune retarding:

Inhibitory effect of breast milk on infectivity of live oral rotavirus vaccines.

Again, readers of ERV will totally get this paper and what they were investigating.

Rotavirus infection causes severe diarrhea, thus severe dehydration in kids. In richer countries, those kids have access to hospitals and such where they get IV fluids and are (usually) fine. In lower income countries, those kids die, to a tune of over half a million a year.

The good news is we have vaccines for rotavirus infection!

The bad news is, it doesnt seem to be working as well in the lower income countries that *need* it to work the most. What the heck is going on? Why would a vaccine work almost perfectly in the US, and lose almost half its efficacy in Nicaragua? No sense.

Well, there is something else we have access to in ‘rich’ countries: Formula.

It seems that moms in low income countries breastfeed their babbies more and longer.

Do you see where this is going?

Babby gets the live attenuated rotavirus vaccine. Babby eats lunch from Mom. Moms anti-rotavirus IgA antibodies neutralize the rotavirus vaccine. Babby never makes its own antibodies to rotavirus, or doesnt make very good antibodies in response to the vaccine. Babby might not be protected from rotavirus when it stops breastfeeding.

The folks in this paper determined:

In conclusion, our findings indicate that the neutralizing activity of breast milk could be one of the many factors that might explain the lower observed immunogenicity and effectiveness of live oral rotavirus vaccines among children in developing countries. These data should encourage clinical trials to investigate whether delaying breast-feeding for a short period before and after giving the vaccine could reasonably improve the immune response and protective efficacy.

Its worth investigating whether giving Babby formula a little before/after the rotavirus vaccine will help protect Babby better. Maybe we can help save some more kids. YAY!

NO! NO YAY if you are an idiot antivaxer:

The paper goes on to say that, rather than remove vaccines so that breastmilk can do its job, women should instead remove the breastmilk to allow vaccines to do their job.

… Withholding breastmilk in order to accommodate the rotavirus vaccine, as the CDC researchers suggest, is an absolutely insane notion that will deprive children of vital nutrition and proper immune development.

… But it is ludicrous notions like these that are birthed from philosophies that view drugs and vaccines as being equal, or even superior, to natural food.

… This is how vaccine dogma works, though. The religion of vaccines does not have to offer any solid proof that a vaccine works, or that it is even safe. A vaccine can even cause the very thing it is touted as preventing, and vaccine apologists will say that it works and that it is necessary. And now in this case, these same psychopaths are suggesting that young babies be starved of real nutrition in order to improve the effectiveness of a vaccine.

Go ahead and enjoy that entire piece. Its almost funny its so stupid. But then you realize that what that asshole is saying can kill kids. And then you realize hes just some jackass bitching on the internet. He has no influence in Nicaragua or India. All he can do is write posts filled with indignant righteousness, hyperbolic vilification of his ‘enemies’, and such extreme idiocy Im assuming he wears velcro shoes, as there is no way someone who writes an article like that can handle shoelaces without harming himself and those around him. He is impotent.

In real life, there are real people doing real jobs actually working to make the world a better place.

And that pisses impotent idiots like Ethan A. Huff off, so he runs to the internet to BAAAAAAAAAAW to his equally impotent and equally idiotic comrades and they all pat themselves on the back and give each other blow-jobs because theyre all so smart and theyre the only ones who really care, you see (see comments).

Wow… If this doesn’t tell you how obviously brainwashing agencies like the CDC, FDA, and pharmaceutical companies can be… I don’t know what will?

Poor creatures if we parents dont stand up for our rigths and the rigths of our children no one will.

Too many people are so clueless because they’ve been busy watching Charlie Sheen implode or The Bachelor.

when we were kids people used to have their kids get infected quickly to gain permanent immunity as soon as possible such as measles parties. that was scientifically smart and devoid of all the scary side effects of todays ridiculous vaccines that burn out the immune systemm and overload it.

bottom line they don’t give a crap about us at all, all they care about is pushing their poisons.

Refreshing to see so many people here with common sense.

Kids in India are ‘poor creatures’. Nice. Jackasses.

But hey, thanks Ethan, for providing me with this teachable moment.

Comments

  1. #1 Lance
    January 23, 2012

    I seem to remember learning, admittedly a very long time ago, that the protective effect of breast milk IgA extended beyond gastrointestinal infections and also for longer than the baby is breastfed for…. so it must have some kind of “immune building” effect! Mechanism unknown to me.

  2. #2 Ethan Siegel
    January 23, 2012

    Thanks for writing this, Abbie.

    Nothing that drives me nuts more than anti-science dingbats with the same name as me. Put them in their place, which ought to be “shamed into obscurity”.

  3. #3 mo (one of Abbies's elk)
    January 23, 2012

    Why don’t they just delay the vaccinations until the moms stop breast feeding? Seems more sensible than trying to teach the child to eat something else, than going back to milk.

    Lance: I think the IgA also crosses the kids musosal epithelia into the blood, like it crossed the mothers epitheliae into the milk ducts. Antibodies are stable for a long time and not secreted in pee. But the Kid will not remember she had those antibodies once. Only if she makes them herself.
    Also, IgA can’t do everything IgG and IgE can.

  4. #4 windy
    January 23, 2012

    Why don’t they just delay the vaccinations until the moms stop breast feeding?

    I had the same thought, but if the risks of rotavirus are highest in babies and very young children, and the passive protection from breast milk isn’t as good as a vaccine, vaccinating after breastfeeding is over would probably not be as beneficial (especially in countries where they breastfeed longer)

    I don’t have access to the full article right now, but looks like they found that breast milk in some developing countries has higher antibody concentrations? So the difference, at least going by this study, is not that some babies get more breast milk and less formula, it’s because the breast milk of their mothers is ‘better’ at neutralizing the vaccine!

  5. #5 Mu
    January 23, 2012

    The question is, how long before the vaccination would you have to stop the breastmilk, and how long after until you can restart. If that interval is too long, the mother might go dry (or whatever the medical term is).

  6. #6 Bryan
    January 23, 2012

    Old news; many vaccines are known to have reduced efficacy due to IgA passed on via the placenta & milk. Pertussis (one of the leading infective causes of neonatal death in western ICUs, btw) is another such case.

    The issue seems to be that the maternal antibodies neutralise the vaccine components before an effective immune response can be generated by the neonate. There is a lot of conflict at the moment among people who design early vaccine schedules, as in some cases it may actually work better to vaccinate the mom (assuming she breastfeeds) and delay vaccination of the child.

  7. #7 Tezcatlipoca
    January 23, 2012

    Knucklebump! Glad you wrote this. Per your comment, “I’m so blagging about this!”, that was left when I linked this Naturalnews nonsense I am delighted on the follow through. I’m linking this post in the comments there and I think this gets it’s own wall post. Woot! I find it amusing how my anti-vaxxer FB “friends” seem to have know problem commenting when I rebut their nonsense but somehow my comments on their links mysteriously disappear. Funny that… ;)

  8. #8 Dave
    January 23, 2012

    Why don’t they just delay the vaccinations until the moms stop breast feeding?

    I suspect (without bothering to read the sources — Fat and Lazy for the Win!) that the key words are “lower income countries.” I imagine that they are looking for a solution in areas where people dont go to the pediatrician every couple of weeks, but rather get vaccinated when some NGO health-care worker comes to town. In that scenario, giving the kid a jab and leaving a day’s worth of formula behind may be more effective than leaving the kid unprotected for the next two years. Yes, if it takes more than a day or two, this is probably not an effective solution, but we’re not going to know that if we dont look into it.

  9. #9 Doctor I.M. Smart
    January 23, 2012

    Tylenol has a good effect on unwanted vaccines as well. So, kids, if you are forced to get a vaccine, fake a headache and ask mommy for some tylenol.

    Tylenol taken immediately prior to or directly after an unwarranted vaccine injected can cuase the vaccine to loose some of its mojo and not be as effective. Thank God for vaccine and Al Gore. If it had not been for Al Gore’s invention, the internet, I could not have shared this fun fact on here of my blog.

  10. #10 Jane
    January 23, 2012

    But formula has to be mixed with water. If the water isn’t clean, the baby will be exposed to more than just rotavirus.

    I wonder if they could develop a shelf-stable vaccine that mom could give the baby herself once it’s weaned or no longer exclusively breastfed.

  11. #11 Justicar
    January 23, 2012

    when we were kids people used to have their kids get infected quickly to gain permanent immunity as soon as possible such as measles parties. that was scientifically smart and devoid of all the scary side effects of todays ridiculous vaccines that burn out the immune systemm and overload it

    Perhaps after Abbie creates a vaccine against HIV, these antivaxxers will start having HIV parties, too.

  12. #12 Vince Whirlwind
    January 24, 2012

    Dave, that’s completely demented.

    You can’t just “stop breastfeeding for 24 hours”. It’s ridiculous.

    The problem here is medicos mis-timing their interventions. If it has immunity, why are you trying to vaccinate it?

  13. #13 Vince Whirlwind
    January 24, 2012

    And Jane, I totally agree – formula has been such a disaster for 3rd-world countries it is absolutely astounding that anybody with an ounce of commonsense would be advocating convenient and unnecessary use of formula for the 3rd-world.

    I suspect the evil hand of Nestle is at work here somehow….

  14. #14 Tony Mach
    January 24, 2012

    When I was two years old, my parents moved to South Africa. About half a year later, I get very seriously sick from what was probably Rotavirus. I had complications and it took more than a month until I was on the mend. I was lucky. I take it that Rotavirus is a very big problem in countries like SA (if they hadn’t these problems with HIV now, Rotavirus might be their number 1 problem today) and I can relate to that. Whatever breast milk is doing, it is not enough and countries like SA need to have effective vaccines.

    To make a crude analogy: These anti-vaxxers strike me like (hypothetical) people who complain about the training and working conditions of pilots of commercial airlines when they would rather pilot themselves a single-engine aircraft with little training…

    Only slightly related: I think I remember reading somewhere that inactivated vaccines produce mainly a IgG response in the blood (unlike oral attenuated vaccines, which act like an infection as far as the immune system is concerned). If this is the case (which I am not sure), would breast milk from a vaccinated mother in that case offer only little protection (apart from herd immunity!). And I take it that IgA is the primary defense of tissues “facing the outside”?

  15. #15 Tony Mach
    January 24, 2012

    Tylenol has a good effect on unwanted vaccines as well. So, kids, if you are forced to get a vaccine, fake a headache and ask mommy for some tylenol. Tylenol taken immediately prior to or directly after an unwarranted vaccine injected can cuase the vaccine to loose some of its mojo and not be as effective.
    Posted by: Doctor I.M. Smart | January 23, 2012 11:28 PM

    Do anti-vaxxers know that? For long? And do they practice it? Then this would be interesting if the Tylenol< ->Autism connection pans out (“Similarities in features of autism and asthma and a possible link to acetaminophen use”).

    (Though people claiming to have found an causal Autism connection tend to have a poor track-record so far: Bettelheim, Wakefield, Mikovits…)

  16. #16 Dave
    January 24, 2012

    You can’t just “stop breastfeeding for 24 hours”. It’s ridiculous.

    Really? Tell that to the thousands of working mothers out there. Im sure most of them dont think, “Im going stop breast feeding for a day” but thats effectively what happens to them. Additionally, many mothers have to stop and suppliment for a day or two due to their own medical issues.

    The problem here is medicos mis-timing their interventions. If it has immunity, why are you trying to vaccinate it?

    Because A – The child (“it”? Really?) doesnt have sufficient immunity, as shown the the prevelance of rotavirus in the 3rd world and B – The child will not have any immunity once breast feeding stops, and the medicos dont have the opportunity to “time” the vaccination to the end of breastfeeding (remember that bit about low-income countries? One of the tell-tale signs of such is reduced access to health-care.)

    But formula has to be mixed with water. If the water isn’t clean, the baby will be exposed to more than just rotavirus.

    If only someone could develop something like a pre-mixed formula. Dammit!

  17. #17 CG
    January 24, 2012

    If it has immunity, why are you trying to vaccinate it?

    Because it isn’t real immunity. It’s passive. It ends.

    Not to mention that given the rotavirus infection rate in the developing world, it’s not very good immunity either.

    They need to do the actual experiment to find out how long the neutralizing effect of breast milk lasts. Until that is known nothing can really be done.

  18. #18 Calli Arcale
    January 24, 2012

    Dave,

    You can’t compare working mothers. I know; I’m a working mother myself, and I breastfed both of my kids. What I did is not remotely comparable. I had access to a high quality breastpump, a refrigerator, and an employer happy to let me take whatever time I needed to do what needed to be done. That is unlikely to be the case for a woman living in, for instance, a South African slum or a tent city in Port Au Prince. If it is necessary to discontinue breastfeeding for a short time around the vaccine, maybe that’s what needs to be done, but that should be approached very cautiously because this is not merely a matter of “convenience”. It could very well be the difference between mothers getting their children vaccinated and not.

    You also mentioned pre-mixed formula. That exists, and is great! It’s also expensive, and because it has all the water in it, it’s costly to ship. Too costly, in fact, if we’re talking about formula for people in the desperately poor, famine-ridden communities that are likely to be most severely affected by this.

    Pausing breastfeeding is a luxury. Formula is a luxury (even the dry kind). You have to understand this to realize why this is not a simple problem to solve. It’s vitally important to know about it, though. More data is needed. Maybe higher doses would do the trick; maybe this is a case for a recombinant vaccine that could sneak the antigen past the maternal antibodies and present it to the child’s immune system; maybe more doses are the answer. Don’t know, but I’m glad people are working on the problem.

  19. #19 Liz E
    January 25, 2012

    Whilst the author might well understand breastfeeding from a biochemical POV, I suspect she is unfamiliar with the practicalities. Thus, whilst in principle the idea of temporary cessation of breastfeeding in order to maximize efficacy of the vaccine in cases where the consequences of rotavirus infection would be most serious might seem like the lesser of two evils, there are many practical reasons why that approach might be ineffective or indeed harmful to both mother and child. A few that spring to mind (in no particular order, and certainly not an exhaustive list):

    - In order to maintain milk supply and avoid potentially serious complications like mastitis, the breast-feeding mother would need to be familiar with breast pumping techniques and have the time to express milk regularly. This could lead to poor compliance and/or maternal illness. (Ya can’t just switch em’ off and on like a tap y’know!). It’s also worth bearing in mind here that not every lactating woman is able to hand-express or pump milk.

    - The infant might not be able to bottle feed effectively. Bottle feeding requires a different sucking technique to breast feeding. Very young infants are generally quite adaptable but an older infant might struggle to make the switch in a short period of time, potentially leading to dehydration. Also, once the switch is made, some infants might struggle to switch back to the breast.

    - The sudden change in feeding pattern is likely to cause the infant emotional distress, possibly leading to poor parental compliance, particularly as breastfeeding is a source of comfort as well as nutrition.

    - A temporary switch to formula could cause digestive (e.g. constipation, enterocolitis) or other issues (e.g atopic dermatitis in the case of allergy to a formula ingredient – prevalence of, for instance, CMP allergy is estimated at anywhere between 2% and 10% in the literature) in the infant that might need additional medical follow-up not readily available to those in developing countries.

    - The need for an adequate supply of pre-mixed formula and sterile feeding equipment to minimize risk of the infant picking up another potentially life-threatening disease might be prohibitively expensive.

    Obviously, most of these issues are not insurmountable, given the resources. But realistically, if such resources were available to the populations we’re talking about here, then we most likely wouldn’t be discussing the issue in the first place.

  20. #20 Prometheus
    January 25, 2012

    Liz E @#19
    “Whilst the author might well understand breastfeeding from a biochemical POV, I suspect she is unfamiliar with the practicalities. Thus, whilst in principle…..”

    Ugh….really?

    Thus, whilst you opine….shut up.

    It isn’t a magic super food.

    It isn’t an elixir vitae.

    It isn’t a mystic emotional bonding fluid.

    It isn’t a brain booster, a panacea or a suit of immunological armor.

    This is completely false correlative flapdoodle promulgated by innumerable health organizations because they don’t want to come right out and tell the third world to reduce fecundity (through a Catholic approved behavior)or announce that rich babies fare better than poor ones.

    Quit reading scientific studies to confirmation bias for the upper middle class decorous western whim of the week.

    Change an organism’s food, it gets intestinal inflammation or constipation. So what?

    Stop a mammal expressing milk it gets a little engorgement/puerperal mastitis. So what?

    These are physiological reactions to change. They are survival mechanisms or plain old physics. It is why there are so many of us. It is why the lines at the DMV are so long.

    We have a 17,000 subject long term study and missing a little sIgA from colostrum leads to a 1 in 40 chance of an extra half day of the shits.

    That’s it.

    That’s all.

    The breast feeding movement in the first world started as a statement about women’s sovereignty and self determination.

    It has persisted because it is a golden opportunity for first world women to judge, exploit and criticize other first world women and mask the indulgent and frankly creepy reasons first world women nurse past colostrum production.

    BTW The cost of three days of premix (water included) similac and 3 sterile disposable bottles works out to the same cost as the vaccine.

    So yea….I guess all that is left is BIG FORMULA trying to crow-bar fragile angel snowflakes off of miracle mommy wonder titties so “Fat Cats” can throw another pile of cash into their solid platinum fire places and patriarchy patriarchy patriarchy.

    P.S. You could probably peddle bullshit more effectively if your stuff didn’t read like pillow talk between Eleanor Roosevelt and a Welsh poet.

  21. #21 a different jane
    January 25, 2012

    Why the shrieky tantrum, Prometheus? Liz E didn’t say anything about mysticism, emotional bonding or women’s rights. The issues she enumerated are simple, widely known facts about breast-feeding. Breast-feeding has been found to improve infant survival in developing countries relative to formula – why do so many put it this way, as if formula were the null condition? – more accurately, formula has been reported to reduce infant survival relative to breast-feeding. Additionally, contra Prometheus (unpub. data), breast-feeding IS a brain-booster, to the tune of a few IQ points on average. Therefore, if a pause of days in breast-feeding will shunt a significant fraction of women onto the formula track, the total health damage inflicted could well outweigh the added health benefits of more potent rotavirus vaccination. Plus, while the costs of three days of high-quality formula may be negligible, those women who don’t successfully return to breastfeeding after that will be on their own to pay for months of formula, and what they use isn’t likely to be omega-3-enriched or made with pure water. If you want to play uber-rational, you’d best be capable of evaluating those costs and benefits calmly and numerically.

  22. #22 mo (one of Abbies's elk)
    January 25, 2012

    Good point Liz E.

  23. #23 windy
    January 26, 2012

    That’s right Liz E and different jane. WTF Prometheus?

    I don’t know if Prom’s history of breastfeeding applies in anglo countries, but in Finland, for example, breastfeeding promotion started for the same reasons as in developing countries now – children were being fed unclean foods (like raw cow’s milk through a horn) and as a result they died of diarrhea in droves.

    Since no one else has commented on the higher neutralizing activity of breastmilk in India among other countries: is it because the mothers are being constantly exposed to rotavirus themselves?

  24. #24 Casey
    January 27, 2012

    I honestly am a little disturbed and confused all at the same time. I felt like this was a bash on antivaxers, but also felt like it was a bash on vaccines. Which is it? I do not vaccinate my child, and I haven’t had a vaccine in years. My child is breastfeeding but also gets real food and water and other things. I don’t understand why we can judge so easily, we say that we need to stand up for these other countries and make sure they are taken care of but what about here? Have you ever truly read an insert on a vaccination? Any of them? Or maybe got a medical book with medical terms and looked up each ingredient before administering them to your own child? I have, and I refuse, especially after reactions I have had, to have my little girl vaccinated. I am all for your own choice. But how can you support choice and rights when you sit here and bash the people who use those rights when they know what they are? Maybe I took this in a way it was not meant to be taken, and if I did please correct me but as I started out this was quite confusing.

  25. #25 Justicar
    January 27, 2012

    Yeah, Casey, I agree with you completely. If only Abbie would get out her research lab where she’s working really, really hard to make a vaccine against HIV 1 and just read a couple of vaccine inserts. If only she’d just step away from all of that biology lab shit and read a textbook. If only she’d just read a medical book that had those chemical doodads listed in them. IF ONLY Abbie were blinded by science!

    If only Abbie had a True Understanding of Real Vaccines instead of those magical, ersatz ones they’ve been indoctrinating her with in that pesky science lab of hers, then she’d see reason.

    Abbie, why are you so judgmental? Don’t you know that someone who’s read a vaccine insert and a medical book with words in it has an opinion that just as equal to yours? Also, I expect that any day now I’m to be hired on as a literature professor because I can peruse Cliffs Notes at my leisure.

  26. #26 muratbaydar
    January 28, 2012

    A newborn does not yet have a mature immune system and is often unable to mount an effective immune response. Newborns are generally protected by the antibodies they receive through the placenta before birth and through their mother’s breastmilk after birth. These antibodies will be the same ones that are circulating in the mother’s system, which will include antibodies to the microorganisms in the mother’s home environment and other places she frequents. Therefore, babies generally have antibodies to the germs in their own homes.

    However, many of the germs in a hospital environment are foreign to both the mother and the baby, so the baby will not have antibodies to protect against these germs, and the baby cannot create its own antibodies against these new germs. This problem can be mitigated by making sure that the baby is touched minimally by people other than the mother and the immediate family, who share a common germ pool.The greatest infectious danger to a newborn in the hospital is the prevalence of bacteria that have developed resistance or complete protection against antibiotics. Antibiotics are no longer effective against these “superbugs”, so there is no effective antibiotic treatment for a “superbug” infection.If a baby in the hospital develops an infection from one of these “superbugs”, nothing other than prayer can help them.

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  27. #27 JKR
    January 30, 2012

    Casey, #24

    Oh you poor thing. You must be so tired from all the procreation. No wonder you are confused.

    “I don’t understand why we can judge so easily, we say that we need to stand up for these other countries and make sure they are taken care of but what about here?”

    >>Take care of us first, bwaaaaah!!

    “Have you ever truly read an insert on a vaccination? Any of them?”

    >>Yes, I’m a practicing MD.

    “Or maybe got a medical book with medical terms and looked up each ingredient before administering them to your own child?”

    >>Yes, again, a practicing MD.

    “I have, and I refuse, especially after reactions I have had, to have my little girl vaccinated.”

    >>Glad you are taking the initiative. btw, have you read any of the inserts that come with Advil, Tylenol, pseudoephedrine, salicylic acid? I hope you aren’t taking any of them.

    “I am all for your own choice. But how can you support choice and rights when you sit here and bash the people who use those rights when they know what they are?”

    >>*sigh* Because parents like you make for patients who make very poor choices in general and confuse it with exercising your rights. I’d guess you tend to be resistant to critical thinking and education. I don’t doubt your love for your child, but this all too American attitude of freedom for freedom sake is going to put you, your child, and others in harm’s way someday. I just hope you aren’t unfortunate enough to experience it. Good luck. Until then, I suggest you go study some more medicine.

  28. #28 Witch
    March 6, 2012

    According to the latest scientific findings, vaccination is based on the incorrect assumption that it is the antibodies, generated by our acquired or cellular immune system, which protect us against most viruses.

    Vaccines target cellular immunity, by injecting antigens and causing an immune response (antibodies).

    However, according to the research referred to below, another part of the immune system (innate immunity) eliminates viral infections via a macrophage response – thus making vaccines, designed to elicit an antibody response, redundant.

    Article: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/03/120301143426.htm
    “Antibodies Are Not Required for Immunity Against Some Viruses ” (Mar. 1, 2012)

    A new study turns the well established theory that antibodies are required for antiviral immunity upside down and reveals that an unexpected partnership between the specific and non-specific divisions of the immune system is critical for fighting some types of viral infections. The research, published online on March 1st in the journal Immunity by Cell Press, may lead to a new understanding of the best way to help protect those exposed to potentially lethal viruses, such as the rabies virus.

    “Our findings contradict the current view that antibodies are absolutely required to survive infection with viruses like VSV, and establish an unexpected function for B cells as custodians of macrophages in antiviral immunity,”

    Journal reference: Moseman et al.: “B Cell Maintenance of Subcapsular Sinus Macrophages Protects against a Fatal Viral Infection Independent of Adaptive Immunity.”
    http://labs.idi.harvard.edu/vonandrian/Pages/_Moseman%20Immunity%20online%20'12.pdf

  29. #29 W. Kevin Vicklund
    March 6, 2012

    “Some” is not the same as “all,” and I already addressed this claim over on Respectful Insolence.

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