By Helen Petousis Harris 12/05/2018

There appears competition to claim discovery of HPV syndromes.

Another in a list of attempts at assassinating the safety of HPV vaccine has been retracted this week. This time from Nature Scientific Reports. Grant Jacobs has provided a commentary on another just a day earlier. That one is a real doozer, an author with a fake name as well!

I admit this one had flown under my radar when it was published in 2016, so I have just had a read of it now. How it passed the most cursury review by any expert I cant imagine because the background section alone rang alarm bells. You see, it was devoid of science and cited instead psuedoscience to support the study premise (that HPV vaccine causes autoimmunity). No where did the article mention the scientific safety data drawn from over 250 million doses of vaccine. You would think at the very least a passing comment that no epidemiology supports what the investigators are about to undertake would have helped the integity of the researchers who, by ignoring the vast literature, demonstrate either their ignorance of the topic or an alterior motive.

First  up:

Chronic stimulation of the immune system by adjuvants can result in an autoimmune disease characterized by myalgia, arthralgia, chronic fatigue, and neurological manifestations – appropriately named the autoimmune/inflammatory syndrome induced by adjuvants (ASIA)

Um, no it does not! There is no evidence for this, never has been. The topic has been reviewed by people using the scientific method (aka scientists). ASIA is a syndrome invented for, what I believe to be, motives other than the advancement of science and medicine, and I have discussed on this blog previously.

Here is the next ill considered conclusion.

According to the HPV vaccination, there are two recent well-documented review articles. Palmieri B. et al reported the occurrence of severe somatoform and dysautonomic syndromes after HPV vaccination9 and Brinth L. et al. also described the onset of autonomic dysfunction after the quadrivalent vaccination10. Both reviews clearly indicated the presence of unique adverse reactions associated with the HPV vaccination including headache, fatigue, depression, cognitive dysfunctions, uncontrollable and involuntary movement, and limb weakness.

Well documented, but not in a good way. That is like saying Imelda Marcos has a lot of shoes. While reporting on cases of some condition (say autoimmunity) is important (hypothesis generating), they do absolutely nothing to inform a potential causal link.  So the conclusion that there is “clearly the presence of unique adverse reactions” is utter rubbish. The fallacy of post hoc ergo propter hoc has been invoked. Adverse Events are not necessarily Adverse Reactions, they should have got that basic terminology correct.

Then it gets even worse.

For these clinical manifestations, we have coined these reactions as human papillomavirus vaccination-associated neuro-immunopathic syndrome (HANS) and proposed diagnostic criteria.

So now we have some new bandwagoners, inventing their own syndrome, in the complete absence of any epidemiological evidence. First Wakefield, then Mr ASIA, now these folks. Having invented a syndrome the authors now go looking for it.

to better understand the molecular mechanisms of HANS, we first attempt to establish an animal model of the syndrome. We then analyzed the pathological lesions of the murine HANS model by focusing on the CNS.

So what did they do, other than torture mice with no scientific justification? There is no evidence that HPV vaccine causes any of the symptoms proposed in the ‘syndrome’, and a mind-boggling amount of evidence that it does not. So first off, these experiments were unethical. You need a damn good reason to subject an animal to pain then slaughter it, like evidence of a disease to be prevented or cured.

For some reason the investigators injected the mice with pertussis toxin. They say that is to disrupt the integrity of the blood brain barrier.  Hang on! Pertussis toxin induces convulsive activity in mice, via the vagal nerve. The toxin stimulates the production of interleukin 1β which has been associated with neurodegenerative conditions.  If you wish to study what happens to a mouse brain when you inject HPV vaccine, why would you also inject a known neurotoxin?

Objectors to the retraction claim in that injecting pertussis toxin is a legit model for Experimental Autoimmune Encephalomyelitis. Why do they want to create this particular model? To the best of my limited knowledge on such a model is that is was developed to

….actively induce experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), one of the most widely used animal models to study efficacy of potential drugs for treatment of multiple sclerosis


So, here is another in a growing list of bad research aimed at bringing the HPV vaccine into question that has earned a retraction. The pattern of attempt at deception is ever present.

  1. Ignore the global body of evidence
  2. Invent a syndrome
  3. Torture mice
  4. Publish
  5. Very often provide services as expert witness in litigation

If HPV vaccine cause brain damage then after studying a couple of hundred million doses we would probably have picked it up by now. After all we have been able to pick up an increased risk of down to about one in a million for flu vaccine and Gullain Barre Syndrome.