Abstract of Presentation
at the Healthcare Workshop Session
American-Russian Foundation for
Progress and Cooperation
Beverly Hills CA July 29, 1997

Vaccine Derived Stealth Viruses and Neuropsychiatric Illnesses: W. John Martin, M.D., Ph.D. Center for Complex Infectious Diseases, Rosemead California 91770 (626) 572-7288

Both the Russian and American societies are being threatened by the increasing prevalence of illnesses relating to impaired functioning of the brain. These illnesses include autism, attention deficit and oppositional defiant behaviors in children, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia and depression in young adults, and dementia in the elderly. A unifying hypothesis is that many of these conditions reflect a spectrum of diseases attributed to chronic persistent viral infection of the brain. Some of the viruses potentially associated with these diseases appear to have been introduced into humans through the use of African green monkey kidney tissue to produce live polio virus vaccines.

The early history of polio vaccine development involved independent testing of a formalin inactivated polio virus (Salk Vaccine) in the United States and a much more effective live attenuated polio virus (Sabin Vaccine) in Russia. Both vaccines were initially produced in kidney tissue of Rhesus monkeys, but the production was switched to African green monkeys when the Rhesus monkey derived vaccines were shown to be contaminated with live SV-40 virus.

The use of monkey kidney tissue to produce live polio vaccine has continued in spite of joint studies conducted in 1972 by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the vaccine manufacturer, showing that monkey kidney tissues were commonly contaminated with simian cytomegalovirus (SCMV). As is generally the case, even crucial information pertaining to the safety of regulated products is considered proprietary and FDA was not at liberty to disclose these findings to the scientific community. While the use of an inactivated polio vaccine within the United States has been recently encouraged, the long delay in recommending this change raises serious questions concerning the ability of Government to regulate the safety of biological products.

Stealth-adapted viruses fail to evoke an anti-viral inflammatory reaction because they lack the components which comprise the major target antigens for cellular immunity. A stealth adapted African green monkey SCMV was initially identified in 1991 in a patient with the chronic fatigue syndrome. A second SCMV-derived stealth virus isolate was obtained from a patient with a manic depressive bipolar psychosis. Other live viral vaccines produced in animal tissues have probably produced additional forms of stealth-adapted viruses.

A major ongoing epidemic of neuropsychiatric illnesses in the Mohave Valley region of the United States has recently been linked to a stealth-adapted virus. This infection spreads easily between family members and has been transmitted to household pets. A physician caring for these patients has also became infected. The virus produces a striking cytopathic effect in tissue culture. Numerous other patients throughout the United States are infected with stealth-adapted viruses. A clearer understanding of the nature of stealth viruses and of the types of human and animal diseases they can induce is crucial to an improvement in public health. It should also be a requirement for any assurance of the safety of live viral vaccines and blood products for either domestic or international use. Having played an important role in the initial evaluation of polio vaccines, it would be fitting if Russia were to participate in ongoing studies of a possible inadvertent consequence of the use of the vaccines. Additional information and copies of stealth virus related publications are available at the Web Site http://www.ccid.org or by sending e-mail to info@ccid.org