Will Transfer Factors Replace Vaccines?

Daniele Focosi mi at interhealth.info
Sat Jan 4 05:04:48 EST 2003


I have just finished reading the patent for transfer factor from avian
sources.
What I have understood is that :

- transfer factor is a mix of peptides with 4 < molecular weight < 5
kDa, about 44-amino acids long, from which antibodies have been
eliminated (probably because they could interfere with induction of
adaptive immune response), and hence containing mainly cytokines and
antigens.
-- Cytokines are normally produced from species with an adaptive
immune system (i.e. Vertebrates), and are contained in yolks from
egg-laying vertebrates and colostrum from mammalian vertebrates.
-- Antigens are present thanks to (multiple) vaccination (with
adjuvants) of the experimental animal.
Viable cells can't account for the protective role of transfer factor
just as it can be effectively administered even in powdered or
freeze-dried forms !

- transfer factors can be antigen- (or pathogen-) specific just thanks
to antigens, and not to other magic molecules ! Cytokines are not
pathogen-specific !

- these cytokines can be administered even by oral route as natural
(i.e. in mammary gland or eggs) hyperglycosylation allows them to
resist gastric pH and digestive proteases. Anyway this explanation
could not be true for antigens !

- transfer factors are said to be able to elicit a secondary immune
response just because they also already contain those cytokines that
require some days in humans to be produced after primary exposure
(remember latency is the main difference between a primary and a
secondary immune response) : hence we should more properly say
transfer factors induce a fastened primary immune response, as for
most vaccinations (in this case transfer are just like subunit
vaccines and cytokines are the adjuvants).

Now :

- even if transfer factors can pass protective immunity to mice
(patent data support this, hoping they're serious), this doesn't mean
they can pass protective immunity to humans. Cytokines effects depends
on their ability to bind receptors on immune system cells : the
greater the phylogenetic distance between the producer species and
humans (hen > cow > human), the higher the likelihood that these
cytokines can't bind human receptors... I'm not sure they work in
humans....

- not all human diseases are zooanthoroponoses (i.e. taken from animal
reservoirs) : e.g. human herpesviruses are human-restricted. Anyway
when an antigen from an heterologous infetious organism is injected
together with adjuvant, the unusual host can develop an adaptive
immune response against it. Anyway for antigens to be found in yolk or
colostrum they have to reach a significant concentration in blood and
this seems to me quite difficult if they can't replicate in such
unusual host, unless high amount of antigens are directly injected in
the bloodstream of the producer species : this let me doubtful about
the effectiveness of the anti-EBV patented transfer factor, even
because eggs are collected 175 days after immunization (see example
one), where I suppose antigens have been cleared !!!!!!!!!

Can you visualize the image of that patent ? Unfortunately they are in
an image file format called ".TIFF" that cannot be converted to a
format more popular on the Web : they would be very useful !

Further, could you find a similar patent for a method for obtaining
transfer factor from MAMMALIAN sources ? It would be very useful, too
!
This is a very educational thread ! Thanks a lot, Dan !
I hope to read opinions from other people !

Sincerely,

Daniele



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