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MRC-5 in Vaccines

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v227/n5254/pdf/227168a0.pdf

 

 

 

Quote:
THE stability and integrity of the human foetal cell strain WI-38, which has been well demonstrated in the past ten years1–3, and its susceptibility to viruses infective for man1,4, explain the value of such material for the isolation of viruses and in the development of vaccines5–8. We have developed another strain of cells, also derived from foetal lung tissue, taken from a 14-week male foetus removed for psychiatric reasons from a 27 year old woman with a genetically normal family history and no sign of neoplastic disease both at abortion and for at least three years afterwards. The criteria used for characterizing the cells are those recommended internationally2,9.
post #2 of 8

Note that this is from a paper published in 1970. The abortion happened in 1965 in the UK giving rise to the cell line WI-5. None of the foetal cells are in the vaccines, they are used to grow and attenuate the virus parts which are used in the vaccines. 

 

It's one of two abortions which have been used to develop cell lines in which viruses for vaccines are grown. The other (the WI-38 cell line which gave rise to the RA 27/3 virus) was an abortion in the US in 1961 in a mother which a confirmed case of rubella. Abortions following a case of rubella in the mother were not uncommon at this time as a significant fraction of the babies born following rubella infection has series congenital defects.

 

There more about human cell lines used in vaccine development here: http://www.historyofvaccines.org/content/articles/human-cell-strains-vaccine-development

post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 

The fact they developed vaccines using this method is sickening...it doesn't matter to me how old the article is. 

post #4 of 8

It is a difficult area ethically, but I think it bears thinking about a bit more instead of just dismissing as "sickening". 

 

The reasons they wanted to use human cell lines to develop vaccines are discussed in the article I linked to above. Animal cell lines had a variety of problems which could result in less effective (or less safe) vaccines. 

 

The rubella vaccine developed initially using WI-38 is an interesting case. It's very sad that that one baby in 1961 was lost to rubella induced deformaties. 

 

From the article (in case it's not clear CRS is babies who were born following a mother who had rubella during pregnancy). 

 

 

Quote:
congenital rubella syndrome (CRS) could also cause deafness, heart disease, encephalitis, mental retardation, and pneumonia, among many other conditions. At the height of a rubella epidemic that began in Europe and spread to the United States in the mid-1960s, Plotkin calculated that 1% of all births at Philadelphia General Hospital were affected by congenital rubella syndrome.

 

So extrapolating, around 1% of all births in the 1960s were affected by Rubella. Using this data (http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0005067.html) there were 4 million live births in the US in 1960, so that's 40,000 babies (in that year) affected by rubella. 

 

From the cell lines taken from just one foetus (who was not aborted from this reason, so would have died whether or not their cell lines were used in vaccine research) a vaccine was developed that meant that in the future no baby needed to be born with this condition. If I lost a baby to rubella it would have been a massive positive to me that their cell lines went on to help save literally thousands of other babies from this condition. 

 

The article also includes a quote from the National Catholic Bioethic Centre discussing the ethics of using vaccines developed from cells lines developed from aborted foetus. They say

 

 

 

Quote:
One is morally free to use the vaccine regardless of its historical association with abortion. The reason is that the risk to public health, if one chooses not to vaccinate, outweighs the legitimate concern about the origins of the vaccine. This is especially important for parents, who have a moral obligation to protect the life and health of their children and those around them. 

 

For your information the article also lists currently available vaccines developed from the two cell lines developed from these two aborted babies from the 1960s. 

post #5 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by prosciencemum View Post

It's one of two abortions which have been used to develop cell lines 

 

From: "A Brief History of Human Diploid Cell Strains" by Rene Leiva, MD

 

There is clear evidence that research around the development of the RA 27/3 rubella vaccine included the performance and coordination of at least eighty abortions, including the two individual abortions for the creation of WI-38 and RA 27/3. Development of MRC-5 used one abortion, but there is a strong indication that more abortions occurred. Evidence also seems to indicate that there was intention in the act of utilizing abortions for the creation of cell strains, most likely because the tissue source ensures an absence of contamination and a high growth titer. There have been other abortions as a result of the need to create more cell strains for use in vaccine development. 

http://www.wellnesscenter.net/resources/articles/History_of_Cell_Lines_NCBC_credit_line-1.pdf

post #6 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by ma2two View Post

 

From: "A Brief History of Human Diploid Cell Strains" by Rene Leiva, MD

 

There is clear evidence that research around the development of the RA 27/3 rubella vaccine included the performance and coordination of at least eighty abortions, including the two individual abortions for the creation of WI-38 and RA 27/3. Development of MRC-5 used one abortion, but there is a strong indication that more abortions occurred. Evidence also seems to indicate that there was intention in the act of utilizing abortions for the creation of cell strains, most likely because the tissue source ensures an absence of contamination and a high growth titer. There have been other abortions as a result of the need to create more cell strains for use in vaccine development. 

http://www.wellnesscenter.net/resources/articles/History_of_Cell_Lines_NCBC_credit_line-1.pdf

Thanks for this!

post #7 of 8

OT…but

 

I went googling for articles on the the use of using aborted fetal matter in items and came across this:

 

Stems cell from fetuses used by food maufacturers:

 

http://www.snopes.com/politics/medical/pepsi.asp

http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2012/01/20/145539661/state-bill-outlaws-use-of-fetuses-in-food-industry-meets-visceral-reaction

 

Good grief.  Reason #23467 to eat well and know where your food is coming from.

 

It could all be an internet legend…but ick.


Edited by kathymuggle - 9/24/12 at 1:00pm
post #8 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by ma2two View Post

 

From: "A Brief History of Human Diploid Cell Strains" by Rene Leiva, MD

 

 

 

That's in stark contradiction to everything I read about it which suggest both that no abortions were done with the aim of helping vaccine research, just that cells from two aborted fetuses which would have died anywhere have been used in research. I can believe they tried to make cell lines from cells from other aborted fetuses, so perhaps that is where the idea came from? 

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