Myalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome following immunization: macrophagic myofasciitis and animal studies support linkage to aluminum adjuvant persistency and diffusion in the immune system

English
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Elsevier

Autoimmunity Reviews

Volume 18, Issue 7, July 2019, Pages 691-705
Autoimmunity Reviews
Review
 

Highlights

 

ME/CFS is multifactorial but Al-containing vaccines may constitute a trigger.

ME/CFS may be associated with intracellular Al adjuvant persistency assessed by MMF.

Animal models revealed dissemination and neurotoxic effects of Al adjuvants.

Al adjuvant toxicokinetics and long-term safety now need appropriate investigations.

Identification of susceptibility genes, co-factors and safer adjuvants is underway.

 

Abstract

Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS) is a multifactorial and poorly undersood disabling disease. We present epidemiological, clinical and experimental evidence that ME/CFS constitutes a major type of adverse effect of vaccines, especially those containing poorly degradable particulate aluminum adjuvants. Evidence has emerged very slowly due to the multiplicity, lack of specificity, delayed onset, and frequent medical underestimation of ME/CFS symptoms. It was supported by an epidemiological study comparing vaccinated vs unvaccinated militaries that remained undeployed during Gulf War II. Affected patients suffer from cognitive dysfunction affecting attention, memory and inter-hemispheric connexions, well correlated to brain perfusion defects and associated with a stereotyped and distinctive pattern of cerebral glucose hypometabolism. Deltoid muscle biopsy performed to investigate myalgia typically yields macrophagic myofasciitis (MMF), a histological biomarker assessing longstanding persistency of aluminum agglomerates within innate immune cells at site of previous immunization. MMF is seemingly linked to altered mineral particle detoxification by the xeno/autophagy machinery. Comparing toxicology of different forms of aluminum and different types of exposure is misleading and inadequate and small animal experiments have turned old dogma upside down. Instead of being rapidly solubilized in the extracellular space, injected aluminum particles are quickly captured by immune cells and transported to distant organs and the brain where they elicit an inflammatory response and exert selective low dose long-term neurotoxicity. Clinical observations and experiments in sheep, a large animal like humans, confirmed both systemic diffusion and neurotoxic effects of aluminum adjuvants. Post-immunization ME/CFS represents the core manifestation of “autoimmune/inflammatory syndrome induced by adjuvants” (ASIA).