The epidemic rebound of Covid-19 by the BA.4 and BA.5 variants worries the health authorities who are launching a fourth vaccination campaign. However, vaccination could itself promote infection. Explanations.
Jean-Marc Sabatier, you have just co-authored a well-documented article in a scientific journal which seems to demonstrate that, in certain cases, anti-Covid vaccination would promote the emergence of the infection. Is this the case?
Indeed, multiple injections of anti-Covid-19 vaccines do not only promote the production of neutralizing antibodies against the spike protein of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Certain antibodies directed against this spike protein can be facilitators, that is to say that they can, on the contrary, facilitate the infection of people injected/vaccinated according to a phenomenon called ADE (“antibody-dependent enhancement” or facilitation of antibody-dependent infection).
These multiple vaccine injections can also cause an aggravated infection of the injected/vaccinated persons (in the event of subsequent infection with a variant of SARS-CoV-2) via a broader phenomenon called ERD (“enhanced respiratory diseases” or facilitation of respiratory diseases). ) which does not necessarily depend on the production of facilitating antibodies.
In DRE, mechanisms such as the onset or exacerbation of the cytokine storm and cell-mediated immunopathology are also involved. Thus, the ADE/ERD phenomena promote the infectious process and the deleterious effects of the virus.
The risks associated with these phenomena after multiple vaccine injections are very real and have already been described for many viruses, including the coronaviruses of SARS-CoV, MERS-CoV, and FIP (infectious peritonitis in cats), as well as for dengue, Zika, HIV, Ebola, and measles viruses.
So booster shots aren’t necessarily a good thing?
When ADE/ERD phenomena exist for a given variant of SARS-CoV-2, viral infection (by this variant) of injected/vaccinated individuals is facilitated (these individuals are more easily infected by the virus), and this infection facilitated can lead to more serious Covid-19 illnesses than if these people had not been injected.
The article published by Guérin and collaborators strongly suggests that emerging variants of SARS-CoV-2 (including Omicron and its subvariants from BA.2 to BA.5) could promote these undesirable phenomena of ADE, or even l ‘ERD, indicating that multiple vaccine boosters are not desirable, as they are potentially harmful in the event of subsequent infection (to these vaccine boosters must be added the dangers of direct toxicity of the vaccine spike protein and the adjuvants of these vaccines, including lipid nanoparticles from messenger RNA vaccines).
-What is this mechanism of neutralizing antibodies and facilitating antibodies?
During an infection with SARS-CoV-2 or an anti-Covid-19 vaccination, our body produces antibodies directed against the proteins of the virus (case of infection with SARS-CoV-2, or d vaccination with inactivated viruses) or antibodies directed specifically against the Spike protein (case of current messenger RNA vaccines, viral vectors or recombinant Spike protein). The antibodies produced fall into three categories: neutralizing antibodies (these antibodies are desired because they block viral infection), neutral antibodies (these antibodies have no a priori effect on viral infection), and facilitating antibodies (these antibodies are not desired because they facilitate viral infection).
In the event of subsequent infection of the vaccinated person with a variant of SARS-CoV-2 which “responds” to the ADE/ERD phenomena, the facilitating antibodies already present bind to the SARS-CoV-2 and facilitate the infection of the cells by the virus. Indeed, phagocytic cells (monocytes, macrophages, dendritic cells, etc.) have a receptor (called Fc-gamma-RIIa) capable of recognizing the antibodies attached to the viral particle, which allows the infection of these cells by internalization of the complex virus-antibody.
We are, at the very beginning of summer 2022, with the BA.4 and BA.5 variants of SARS-CoV2 which are spreading in the population. Are they more virulent than the previous ones?
Data on emerging SARS-CoV-2 subvariants BA.4 and BA.5 are still fragmentary, especially in humans live. These viruses appear more contagious than the BA.2 sub-variant of the 6ᵉ wave (late March to mid-April 2022) in France by around 8% (BA.4) and 12% (BA.5). These viruses also appear to be four times more resistant to neutralizing antibodies than the BA.2 subvariant. Although not very virulent and lethal, these viruses could replicate with greater efficiency (compared to the BA.2 subvariant) in human lung cells.
In veterinary medicine, it has been observed that cats vaccinated against the Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP) coronavirus show more marked clinical signs after infection than unvaccinated control cats. Can we transpose for humans?
Feline infectious peritonitis (FIP) is a viral disease of cats caused by a coronavirus, such as SARS-CoV-2. These are two coronaviruses belonging to separate but related families.
The FIP virus is contagious for cats, but cannot be transmitted to other species (including humans). FIP viruses are enteric coronaviruses that have become pathogenic as a result of mutation(s). The pathologies associated with FIP are similar to Covid-19 diseases. PIF and SARS-CoV-2 attack the renin-angiotensin system (RAS) of the host and will target cat and human AT1R receptors, respectively.
There have been attempts to vaccinate cats using inactivated FIP viruses, or a vaccine candidate based on a recombinant vaccinia vector expressing the FIP virus Spike protein. But this vaccination did not protect them against an inoculation of the virulent FIP virus via the oronasal route. On the contrary, vaccinated cats were more easily infected than unvaccinated cats.
This absence of protection suggests the existence of the ADE phenomenon, with the presence of facilitating antibodies. These facilitating antibodies allow the virus to better penetrate the target cells. This mechanism favoring the infection of cells by the virus would prove to be problematic if it were found during multiple booster vaccination against SARS-CoV-2. Transposition to humans is theoretically possible due to the continued emergence of new variants of SARS-CoV-2.
Finally, we are at four doses of the Covid vaccine in less than a year. Isn’t there a serious risk of undermining the natural immunity of patients?
Vaccination against Covid-19 with numerous boosters should induce acquired immunodeficiency syndrome or AIDS (this is an immune syndrome independent of HIV) in those who have been multiple-injected/vaccinated. In fact, a certain proportion of the Spike protein produced by vaccines (mRNA and viral vector vaccines) or contained in vaccines (inactivated virus vaccines or recombinant Spike protein), is potentially capable of binding to the ACE2 receptor target cells, as the SARS-CoV-2 virus does.
By interacting with the ACE2 receptor of the cells, the vaccinal Spike protein will produce the same deleterious effects as the virus, i.e. dysfunction of the renin-angiotensin system RAS (this is an essential ubiquitous physiological system for the functioning of the organs and tissues of the human body). The RAS controls innate immunity via the AT1R receptor coupled to “Toll-like” receptors for recognizing molecular patterns. The dysfunction of the RAS will therefore be accompanied by a disruption of the innate immunity that it controls.
Innate immunity (which is non-specific for a microbe) is responsible for the subsequent triggering of adaptive/acquired immunity (which is specific for a microbe), based on T and B lymphocytes. Thus, dysregulation of the he innate immunity also translates into a dysregulation of adaptive/acquired immunity, that is to say a generalized dysregulation of the immune system.
In conclusion, repeated vaccine injections, can result in the onset of AIDS in people who have been multiple-injected/vaccinated. Furthermore, it has been reported that repeated vaccine injections of the same antigen, whatever it is (here the Spike protein of SARS-CoV-2), at levels which exceed the “critical” threshold, inevitably lead to dysregulation of innate immunity, and the appearance of potential autoimmune disorders. Thus, for the current anti-Covid-19 vaccines, there are at least three good scientific reasons not to proceed with multiple vaccine injections, with (1) the direct and harmful action of the Spike protein on the ARS and the innate immunity, (2) the repetition of these injections which also disturbs the innate immunity of the host, and (3) the potential harmful effects of certain adjuvants, including lipid nanoparticles.
* Jean-Marc Sabatier is research director at the CNRS and doctor in Cellular Biology and Microbiology. He speaks here in his own name.
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