Large-scale application of highly-diluted bacteria for Leptospirosis epidemic control. Bracho G, Varela E, Fernández R, Ordaz B, Marzoa N, Menéndez J, García L, Gilling E, Leyva R, Rufín R, de la Torre R, Solis RL, Batista N, Borrero R, Campa C. Finlay Institute, Ave. 27, La Lisa, Havana City, Cuba. Homeopathy. 2010 Jul;99(3):156-166.
BACKGROUND: Leptospirosis is a zoonotic disease of major importance in the tropics where the incidence peaks in rainy seasons. Natural disasters represent a big challenge to Leptospirosis prevention strategies especially in endemic regions.
Vaccination is an effective option but of reduced effectiveness in emergency situations. Homeoprophylactic interventions might help to control epidemics by using highly-diluted pathogens to induce protection in a short time scale.
We report the results of a very large-scale homeoprophylaxis (HP) intervention against Leptospirosis in a dangerous epidemic situation in three provinces of Cuba in 2007.
This formulation was administered orally to 2.3 million persons at high risk in an epidemic in a region affected by natural disasters. The data from surveillance were used to measure the impact of the intervention by comparing with historical trends and non-intervention regions.
RESULTS: After the homeoprophylactic intervention a significant decrease of the disease incidence was observed in the intervention regions. No such modifications were observed in non-intervention regions. In the intervention region the incidence of Leptospirosis fell below the historic median. This observation was independent of rainfall.
CONCLUSIONS: The homeoprophylactic approach was associated with a large reduction of disease incidence and control of the epidemic. The results suggest the use of HP as a feasible tool for epidemic control, further research is warranted.
It provides fascinating evidence that a highly dilute substance, prepared according to homeopathic principles, may contribute to the prevention of Leptospirosis.
Leptospirosis (also known as Weil’s Disease) is an infectious disease carried by rats and caused by bacteria called spirochetes. People contract the disease through contact with contaminated water. Leptospirosis occurs worldwide, but it is most common in the tropics during periods of heavy rain.
In Cuba, Leptospirosis is recorded by an efficient national surveillance programme. Its incidence correlates closely with heavy rainfall and subsequent flooding. In late 2007, in response to a developing epidemic, and with only enough vaccine to treat 15,000 high-risk people, the government decided to treat the entire population of the region, over one year of age, with a homeopathic medicine. This was prepared from the inactivated causative organism provided by the Cuban National Vaccine Institute.
The homeopathic medicine was given to the 2.3 million population of the provinces usually worst affected. Within a few weeks the number of cases had fallen from 38 to 4 cases per 100,000 per week, significantly fewer than the historically-based forecast for those weeks of the year. The 8.8 million population of the other provinces did not receive homeopathic treatment and the incidence was as forecast. The effect appeared to be sustained: there was an 84% reduction in infection in the treated region in the following year (2008) when, for the first time, incidence did not correlate with rainfall. In the same period, incidence in the untreated region increased by 22%.
“Infectious diseases are still the bane of humanity, particularly in the developing world”, states Dr Sara Eames, President of the Faculty of Homeopathy. “Anything which appears to reduce infection rates in a potentially fatal infection, particularly when it can be prepared and delivered quickly, safely and cost effectively, has to be taken seriously and studied further.”
Dr Peter Fisher, Editor of Homeopathy, notes “This is a very large study and its results, if confirmed, have huge potential impact. We need more research into the effectiveness of homeopathic preparations in preventing infectious diseases, complications, and the economic viability of a homeopathic approach.”
Leptospirosis (also known as Weil’s Disease)
(Definition from http://www.medicinenet.com/leptospirosis/article.htm)
It is an infectious disease caused by a particular type of bacteria called a spirochete. Leptospirosis can be transmitted by many animals. People contract the disease either by ingesting contaminated food or water or via broken skin and mucous membrane (eyes, nose, sinuses, mouth) in contact with the contaminated water or soil. Leptospirosis occurs worldwide, but it is most commonly acquired in the tropics.
Leptospirosis symptoms begin from two to 25 days after initial direct exposure. The illness typically progresses through two phases:
The first phase of non-specific flu-like symptoms includes headaches, muscle aches, eye pain with bright lights, followed by chills and fever. Watering and redness of the eyes occurs and symptoms seem to improve by the fifth to ninth day.
The second phase begins after a few days of feeling well. The initial symptoms recur with fever, aching and neck stiffness. Some patients develop serious inflammation of the nerves to the eyes, brain, spinal column (meningitis), or other nerves. Right upper area abdominal pain may occur and less common symptoms relate to disease of the liver, lungs, kidneys, and heart.
Immunisation and chemoprophylaxis with antibiotics are effective against Leptospirosis, but they are expensive. Immunisation requires a course of injections and chemoprohylaxis must be given continuously during the at-risk period. For these reasons, in most epidemic regions they are used only for high-risk groups,
Homeopathy, published by Elsevier, is an international peer-reviewed journal. It is the only journal dedicated to the topic that is indexed in PubMed, the main database of medical research articles.
Faculty of Homeopathy
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1. Bracho G, Varela E, Fernández R, et al. Large-scale application of highly-diluted bacteria for Leptospirosis epidemic control. Homeopathy 2010; 99: 156–166.
See Lionel R. Milgrom PhD, RHom, Maria R. Ringo DHMHS, BGS, and Karen M. Wehrstein BAA, DIHom, The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, Emerging Economies’ Need for Cheap, Efficient Health Care Makes Western Anti-Homeopathy Rhetoric Irrelevant: Observations from the Canadian Homeopathy Conference, October 2011. Volume 18, Number 7, (a Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. DOI: 10.1089/acm.2012.0236,2012). pp. 1–4.
‘… As reported in the journal Homeopathy,12 Bracho and his colleagues at the Finlay Institute, ably assisted by the Cuban public health service and the Cuban army, managed to orally administer leptospirosis homeoprophylaxis to 2.3 million persons reckoned to be in a region affected by natural disasters and at high risk of an epidemic. Only in these regions did the incidence of leptospirosis fall significantly. Indeed, it fell so low it was well below the historic median, an observation that was independent of rainfall. No significant fall in leptospirosis incidence was observed in non homeoprophylaxis regions.
If ‘‘Western’’ conventional doctors and scientists had performed this work, it would have been hailed as a major medical breakthrough, and Bracho and his colleagues feted as heroes. Instead, no prestigious conventional medical journal would accept the Cubans’ findings. ‘‘Indeed,’’ Bracho continues, ‘‘I have personally received death threats over the Internet, and even been branded a ‘terrorist’!’’…’