Researchers identify rare adult immune disease in Asia

 Doctors have identified the disease as a syndrome that creates AIDS-like symptoms but say it’s not a virus, and it’s not contagious.
August 24, 2012HEALTH - Researchers at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) have identified a new disease among people in Asia that causes AIDS-like symptoms but is not associated with HIV. The study, released in the New England Journal of Medicine Thursday, found patients with the disease were making antibodies that attacked their immune systems. “We all make molecules and proteins in the body that tell our immune system how to function properly,” said Dr. Sarah Browne, a clinical investigator at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at NIH and the lead author on the study. “They tell different immune cells when to turn on and when to start fighting infection,” she said. “We found a large number of the patients that we studied with serious opportunistic infections make an antibody that blocks the function of one of these molecules, which is interferon-gamma.” Without functioning interferon-gamma, people become more susceptible to certain types of infections — infections people with working immune systems normally don’t get, she said. The disease is being called an adult-onset immunodeficiency syndrome because it strikes adults. Cases date back to 2004, with most of them occurring in Thailand and Taiwan. The NIH has been studying the disease since 2005. “It’s rare — more prevalent over in Southeast Asia,” Browne told CNN. “But we have been diagnosing it here in the U.S. in individuals of Asian descent.” So far NIH has seen about 12 cases, all of them in people of Asian descent. According to Browne, most patients survive. There have been deaths in other countries, she said, but did not know how many. No one has died in the United States. Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of NIAID, says it’s important to note the disease is not contagious. “It is not a virus, that’s the first thing. It’s not a new AIDS-like virus,” Fauci said. “It’s a syndrome that was noticed and discovered in Asia where people get opportunistic infections similar to HIV/AIDS, but the cause of the syndrome is not an infection like HIV.” Fauci said researchers “found the people have an autoimmunity, where their bodies are making antibodies against a protein that’s important in fighting infection. The reason the body is making that antibody is unclear but it isn’t a virus like HIV that’s causing it,” he said. “It’s autoimmune disease, and people get secondary infections similar to AIDS.”  The study was already in the early stages in 2009, when Kim Nguyen, a 62-year-old Vietnamese woman from Tennessee, came to NIH suffering from symptoms that would be linked to the mystery disease. -CNN
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6 Responses to Researchers identify rare adult immune disease in Asia

  1. Marybell says:

    Not catching? Now that don’t make sense. How did this person get it? Looks like creeping crud to me

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    • Elihu Barachel says:

      The start…how the prophies in the book of revelation work out is yet to be seen. We (no, you) will see; Rev 16:2

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    • tellthetruth1 says:

      You said it, Marybell. If it’s not contagious, how come more than one person has got it, and some have died? None of the report makes any sense. It was the same when I contracted spondylitis and a secondary arthritis. I was fobbed off with some ‘syndrome’ when I was very unwell. God help these poor people if the same happens to them:( I know what Scripture this reminds me of, but I’ll keep schtum about that until there’s more…

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  2. C Hyde says:

    Its in the food. Dietary related inflammation of the bowels creates low level inflammation, MSG use is rampant in most of Asia. My family in philippines seasoned with it in most meals. Soy is becoming more GM, who knows what that is doing to there intestines. Just a theory anyway.

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  3. nanoduck says:

    It is not a virus, but autoimmune disease. However, autoimmune diseases usually are triggered by something, like chemical or infection by a virus or bacteria. It may be that some segement of Asian population is genetically sensitive to some chemical or infection. Or perhaps something more sinister, an engineered virus that can alter immune system to attack itself? With our current level of technology it is possible.

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  4. StevenJ says:

    Funny – just heard one of the “mainstream” media outlets reporting on this story – made it sound like it was a major epidemic, but did NOT say that it was mainly affecting the Asian population… Hysteria + Viewers = Ratings = Profits!!! As for what could be causing it, I would first look at dietary habits and go from there. But (and this is a BIG But), maybe there is some type of new pathogen that is targeting certain populations with a certain genetic makeup. Just thinking out loud…

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