phone:  0468 774 633

Mon to Thur 8:30am – 5pm

Autoimmune Disease and Infection

The incidence of autoimmune disease is increasing with more than 100 autoimmune diseases now recognised in medicine.1  However, in the majority of cases patients are not tested or treated for infection.  Autoimmune diseases are now the third leading cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide

Autoimmunity occurs when the immune system recognises and attacks the host tissue.  In addition to genetic factors, environmental triggers (in particular viruses, bacteria and other infectious pathogens) are acknowledged to play a major role in the development of autoimmune diseases.

The first description of an autoimmune disease was of Paroxysmal cold haemoglobinuria (PCH).  This is a rare type of haemolytic anaemia where auto-antibodies destroy healthy red blood cells.  Acute cases mostly affect children and are precipitated by exposure to cold – even drinking cold water or washing hands in cold water may induce an episode.  PCH is now recognised as a common case of acute AIHA (autoimmune haemolytic anaemia) in young children.

Today the main differential diagnosis in acute cases in that of induction by infections, mainly Mycoplasma pneumoniae or Epstein Barr Virus (EBV). 

Induction of autoimmune disease has also been reported post-vaccination.  There have been numerous reports listing the occurrence of diseases as shown below, linked to specific bacteria and viruses given in vaccines.  Vadala’s study4 in 2017 showed that more than 5% of the population receiving these vaccinations developed a form of autoimmune disease. (see Table 1).


Autoimmune Disease Type of Vaccine
Systemic Lupus Erythematosus Hepatitis B virus (HBV), tetanus, anthrax
Rheumatoid arthritis

Systemic Lupus Erythematosus

HBV, tetanus, typhoid/paratyphoid, measles/mumps/rubella (MMR)
Multiple sclerosis HBV
Reactive arthritis Baccillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG), typhoid, diphtheria/pertussis/tetanus (DDP), MMR, HBV influenza
Polymiositis/dermatomyositis GCG, smallpox, diphtheria, DPT
Polyarteritis nodosa Influenza, polio, tetanus
Guillain-Barré syndrome Influenza, polio, tetanus
Diabetes mellitus-type 1 Haemophilus influenzae type B-HIB
Idiopathic thrombocytopaenia MMR, HBV
Hashimoto thyroiditis HBV

Table 1:  Autoimmune diseases reported after vaccination


There is clear evidence that certain bacteria and some viruses may induce an overwhelming response by the immune system promoting an autoimmune condition.5  This has been known for many years.  Auch infections are often called “stealth infections”.

Mycoplasma pneumoniae is a commonly occurring infection in the general population and is often found in the joints of arthritis patients.6  Recently M. pneumoniae has been linked to Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS).  The link between GBS and M. pneumoniae has been known for many years.  A paper published in 1969 linked M. pneumoniae with Landry-Guillain-Barré and described the syndrome as being common within one month of respiratory tract infections.7  GBS is also linked to infections such as Campylobacter jejuni and Haemophilus influenza.

Mycoplasma fermentans infection has been linked to the induction of Crohn’s Disease. 

Chlamydophila pneumoniae, an intracelllular pathogen which infects some white blood cells, skin cells and those lining blood vessels, as well as the smooth muscle cells of blood vessels.  C. pneumoniae is known to initiate Reiter’s syndrome, sarcoidosis, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease and atherosclerosis.9 

Borrelia spp. Infection does not tend to stay in the bloodstream but goes to joints, tissue and spinal fluid which causes difficulty in testing and diagnosing its presence.  There has been a recent systematic review on maternal transmission, with Borrelia having been found in the placenta and in foetal or new born tissue samples.15  Many of the children had no negative effect.  However, adverse birth outcomes included spontaneous miscarriage or foetal death, hyper-bilirubinaemia, respiratory distress and syndactyly, an abnormality where webbing or fusing of fingers or toes occur.

Infections in Alzheimer’s disease patients

The hallmarks of AD are:

  • Progressive brain atrophy
  • Accumulation of cortical senile plaques
  • Neurofibrillary tangles

Various infectious microbes have been shown as causative agents for this deterioration:  T. pallidum17, and Borrelia burgdorferi18.


In 2015 there were 2,094 Australians with MND (GBS), 60% males and 40% female.  Infections in many of these patients could be treated with antibiotic therapy, herbal therapies and frequency therapy.

So why are the studies ignored?  Can the giant pharmaceutical companies be trusted to place effective therapies above their own profits?

Because long term antibiotic therapy may lose its efficacy, herbal ‘antibiotics’ and anti-viral herbs need to be considered in their place or possibly in conjunction with antibiotics.  Frequency therapy has also proven useful both in identifying these pathogens, especially those that migrate out of the blood stream and into tissues, as well as eradicating them from the body.


For more information or to organise a health assessment, contact True Medicine on 07-55301863.


Article written by:  By Jennie Burke, MSc(Hons) DipMed Herbalism – published in Journal of the ATMS Vol 25 No 2

Published here in summary with the full version and references available in clinic.