At the Autoimmunity Congress Asia n Hong Kong I delivered two presentations. One was my plenary - an updated version of how the microbiome causes chronic disease, and one was a short 15 minute presentation on "Autoantibodies - are they the cause, or result, of Autoimmune Disease?"
Notable in the plenary is my increasing ability to talk sensibly about the importance of our in-silico discoveries, building on the 2013 Nobel prize for Chemistry. But you will find quite a bit of new stuff in this presentation, I think.
The autoantibodies presentation was pretty controversial. But I feel it is time to talk about this topic, however taboo it might be in the eyes of some Rheumatolgists...
"Are these memory B cells invaded by bacteria" -- Yes. See the Wirostko study
You know, there are a lot of strange, wild, theories about what triggers autoantibodies. None of them make sense. Most pervasive are the "trigger" hypotheses, where exposure to an environmental agent triggered the formation of B-cells in the first place, and the body has not been able to clear the resulting auto-antigens. I have heard top-level physicians noting that that if you live near an airport (and jet fumes) you will have a very high risk of autoimmunity, sarcoidosis is associated with being near pine forests, and so on. The level of understanding of the immune system is not great, nor is there any real will to find out the truth. Disease is seen as being already sufficiently complex to understand, there is no push to make it more so.
I recently encountered a medical doctor who used herbs to decrease his ANA antibodies in his LUPUS . He now sells those herbs anonymously referring to the part of Your work Dr Marshall about L-forms(that herbs kill L forms apparently).
So ANA could drop relatively fast even on herbs...
But whether he is healthy, that is another story.