Cells with Epstein Barr Virus | Wikimedia Commons

In a stunning bit of news, the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital has announced that a team of its researchers have concluded that the injection at least some forms of viral DNA into the human lymphatic system may be causing the onset of seven debilitating diseases.

IFLScience writes that a study of patients who received shots of the Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV) as part of a vaccination process against mononucleosis (mono) had increased chances of developing autoimmune diseases such as lupus, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, juvenile idiopathic arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, celiac disease, and type 1 diabetes.

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Even after the initial viral infection left the body, the chances of the aforementioned diseases occurring remain high.

The results of the study, published in Nature Genetics, “sheds light on how diseases with complex origins may arise and provides molecular targets for future treatments,” writes IFL Science.

As any parent knows, mono is extremely common and in some cases can be very debilitating or deadly. Just as common is EBV. According to IFL Science, nearly 90 percent of people will be infected at one time or another by the virus.

Once in the body, the virus introduces a copy of its genome into the lymphatic systems’ B cells, where they replicate and undergo mitosis, At some point, these replicated viral cells switch into ‘autoimmune’ mode and begin attacking healthy tissue within the body.

The discovery of the Epstein Barr Virus is relatively new in the world of science as the Australian Academy of Science documents on its website:

In 1961, a surgeon working in Uganda, Denis Burkitt, presented the results of his research to staff at the Middlesex Hospital Medical School in Britain. He reported that the incidence of a certain tumour in African children had a geographic distribution corresponding to rainfall and temperature patterns.

The disease, which affects about 8 in every 100,000 children in parts of Africa and Papua New Guinea, quickly became known as Burkitt’s lymphoma. The influence of climate on its incidence seemed to suggest that some biological factor was involved. Three researchers, M.A. Epstein, Y.M. Barr and B.G. Achong, immediately began looking for possible cancer-causing viruses in samples of the tumour sent from Uganda to Britain.

In 1964, they identified the culprit using an electron microscope: a previously unknown member of the herpes family of viruses. Epstein and Barr were awarded the dubious honour of having the pathogen named after them. It was the first virus to be directly associated with human cancer.

Image result for b cells

The news is sure to add fuel to the fiery debate between advocates and opponents of vaccinations and genetic therapy.

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