Many push the idea that the spike protein is responsible for vax injury and Long COVID. (There are also people who believe that the presence of spike protein supports the idea that Long COVID is caused by a viral reservoir.) One piece of evidence used to support the spike protein argument is a paper by Swank et al. (DOI:10.1101/2022.06.14.22276401), which claims to have found spike protein in the blood.
However, a careful examination of their previous work should make it clear that they found the opposite- their data strongly suggests that there is no spike protein in the blood.
Let’s start with the basics. The Simoa assay relies on antibodies to stick to spike protein and not anything else. However, in practice, antibodies will stick to things that are slightly off-target. A spike protein antibody will stick to things that look like SARS-CoV-2 spike protein but aren’t.
As this was a known problem, the inventor of the Simoa assay (David Walt) was part of a group that published a validation study (DOI:10.1093/clinchem/hvaa213) of the Simoa assay. They used their test to look for spike protein and nucleocapsid (N) protein in blood samples collected before the pandemic began. Because the SARS-CoV-2 virus does not time travel (to our knowledge anyways), we know that there is zero spike and N protein in these pre-pandemic samples. However, the test returned false positives on a few samples.
Their solution to this problem was to have 2 different antibodies targeting 2 different parts of the virus (S1 and N). The chance of BOTH tests returning a false positive is much lower.
When they went looking for viral protein in the blood of patients with Long COVID (or PASC), they ran into a problem. Both the S1 and N tests regularly returned negative results. So they just moved the goalposts around… because science. Their new methodology was to only look for ‘full-length Spike’. This test occasionally returns false positives on pre-pandemic blood samples*; however, they conveniently forgot about all of the work that they did on their earlier validation paper (DOI:10.1093/clinchem/hvaa213).
- See Figures S6 and S7 in the data supplement of the validation paper. Figure S6 is on page 20 and it shows the data for the full-length spike protein test. The test is problematic because the positivity rate is not very high, likely because the body has furin enzymes that break down full-length spike protein.
Unfortunately, a scientifically sound conclusion wouldn’t exactly help this group of researchers obtain research funding. So nowadays, it is a ‘coincidence’ that their methodology changes just happen to generate ‘results’ that help this group obtain more research funding. They move the goalposts around and they just ‘happen’ to find sexy results. Because science .
If we look at the overlap between vax injury and Long COVID, there is something else in common. Both vaccines and viral infections activate the immune system. Vaccines must trigger the immune system so that adaptive immunity develops. Viruses trigger the immune system because they’re viruses. It’s this triggering of the immune system that is like skydiving or Russian roulette- it opens the door to bad things happening. Usually the bad things do not happen. But sometimes they do.
We also have an idea regarding the biological mechanisms. The effects of vaccines and microbial infections have been well studied in lab animals. We know that vaccines and infections can lead to autoimmunity. We have also discovered many of the biological pathways (PAMPs and other PRRs) involved in the development of autoimmunity; without those pathways, we can’t use adjuvants to cause autoimmunity in lab animals. While these pathways help animals fight off infections, they also open the door to autoimmunity developing.
Of course, this is just a theory. We’ll see if the theory translates into people getting healed with antimicrobials. If things don’t pan out, then we should go back to the drawing board and go back to searching for the true cause and potential treatments.