Plague Time: the New Germ Theory of Disease
- By: Sanjay Pai
Yesterdays heresy is often tomorrows fact and vice versa. This makes medical research exciting and, of course, necessary. Many examples support this statement, from the anatomist Vesaliuss findings to the very latest research.
Paul Ewald is a biologist at Amherst College, Massachusetts, who, to put it mildly, suggests something controversial. Ewalds thesis is that in addition to many acute illnesses, germs are also responsible for most chronic ailments. This idea would have met with outright derision 30 years ago. Now, however, with the knowledge that Helicobacter pylori and human papilloma virus have a cause and effect relationship with peptic ulcers and cervical carcinoma, such a statement cannot be ignored.
In fact, there is suggestive evidence that Hodgkins disease is linked to Epstein-Barr virus infection and mesothelioma may be a result of infection by SV40, the latter possibly as a contamination from vaccines. Some thought has been given to the theory