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The Why We Don't Catch Colds Thread aka The George/Gerwyn Tag Team

Discussion in 'Immunological' started by Adam, Jan 28, 2010.

  1. Hysterical Woman

    Hysterical Woman Senior Member

    East Coast

    Hi Gerwyn,

    Your explanation really helped me too. George - love your reference to the peanut butter lid. Would you pass the jelly, please.

    Take care,

  2. bakercape

    bakercape Senior Member

    Cape Cod. Mass
    I'm relieved

    other PWC on this board are experiencing the not having cold and bugs phenomena. I have had CFS for 22 years. Before CFS I would catch colds and everything going around. After CFS I can count on one hand the number of times I've fealt ill with a bug like a cold. In fact I think I've had three Flu's( one recently) which each brought on a relapse of sorts and I can't honestly remember having one cold. And that's in over 2 decades. Maybe it's not as much social contact but I still work so even though I have very little social life I do have contact with the outside world.

    This has always puzzled me.
  3. Countrygirl

    Countrygirl Senior Member


    Gerwyn and George,

    Thank you for explaining what has had me puzzled for the last 30 years. :D :D

    You are better than my Professor of Immunology, who confessed that he didn't know why this was a common observation in his patients.

    Well done! :Sign Good one:
  4. MEKoan

    MEKoan Senior Member

    Gerwyn & George, what a team!

    1 flu in 30 years during the best of my remission.

    no colds.
  5. froufox

    froufox Senior Member

    Yeah thanx to Gerwyn and George!! Its fascinating to read your theories about what is going on with our bodies. It all makes perfect sense.

    Same here Koan, virtually no colds or flu at all.
  6. Are we too late to get this question into _Kim_'s XMRV questionnaire do you think?
    Hadn't thought to have a section in there regarding lack of symptoms...

    Rachel xx
  7. _Kim_

    _Kim_ Guest

    Not too late at all. I'll add it in.
  8. jackie

    jackie Senior Member

    Gerwyn & George, Thanks! Me Too - no colds!

    I was the sickly kid with the perpetual cold/swollen tonsills/sore throat/red, raw nose...was absent from school for the majority of first grade. I was the sick teenager - ALL the time...colds of course.

    I was ALWAYS sick as a young adult....the one that sat up in bed for weeks with kleenex sticking out of both nostrils.....chronic Laryngitis....would lose my voice for days. Most of the time I looked like a Nyquil commercial...BEFORE the Nyquil!

    BUT....after me/cfs hit full force - NO more colds! Not a single one in 15 years! How could this be? Now I know!

    (And George...forget the Peanut Butter - ask her to make you some 'sketti!;))

  9. Katie

    Katie Guest

    This is really fascinating. I started off by being ill continually, infection after virus, after infection but now I hardly catch a thing. I had a very bad flu 18 months ago and a few colds but considering I avoided the norovirus when I was living with someone with it and every sickness bug my niece brought home I've been doing alright. Though I think I have the virus my husband has just been through I've had a good old run. It's not perfect but I should be sicker. Now if I could just shake of this ME I'd be as right as rain ;)
  10. jimbob

    jimbob ME/CFS84-XMRV+

    myrtle beach, s.c.
    about the same for me as well. I think immune system is working so hard against xmrv, it's keeping everything else at bay!
  11. natasa778

    natasa778 Senior Member

    Superinfection exclusion?

    This "never sick with colds or flu" is very common in autism too. Many kids are never sick, and a small minority are sick all the time.

    I was wondering if this could also be down to "superinfection exclusion", at least in some cases - where one pathogen takes up residence and no other virus is able to enter the cell. This is well known to happen, but (my) one big issue with this theory is that the supposed original pathogen (say xmrv) would in that case have to be residing in all tissue that common cold and flu viruses would normally go for: lung, sinuses etc.

    Is something like this a plausible scenario? Any thoughts Gerwyn or anyone?
  12. natasa778

    natasa778 Senior Member

    bits on superinfection exclusion:

    "...It is well known that certain persistent viral infections can confer resistance to subsequent infection of host cells with the same virus or a closely related virus. This phenomenon, designated superinfection exclusion or homologous interference (1, 20), has been described for retroviruses (5, 9), hepatitis B virus (6),
    alphaviruses (1, 20), Rift valley fever virus (3), and pestiviruses (23). Superinfection exclusion by retroviruses is primarily due to down-regulation of host cell surface entry receptors (5, 9). A similar mechanism may account for superinfection exclusion in hepatitis B virus-infected duck hepatocytes (6). Poorly defined mechanisms seem to contribute to superinfection exclusion of alphaviruses; one of these is posttranscriptional gene silencing (2). RNA silencing also seems to play a role in the case of Rift valley fever virus, because superinfection exclusion in insect cells could be mimicked by expression of nontranslatable viral RNAs (3)...."

    Referencing The role of CD4 and its downmodulation in establishment and maintenance of HIV-1 infection. (no abstract), and

    although it is said that "Cells expressing specific proviruses are resistant to superinfection by viruses of the same subgroup" - since the mechanisms of surface receptor downregulation seem to be involved I wonder if in theory a superinfection could block entry of many unrelated viruses that use same/linked receptors?
  13. MEKoan

    MEKoan Senior Member

    Mistress Kim (who shall be worshiped - by me, anyway),

    Would it be possible to move this particular part of the discussion to its own thread? I am so happy to see this particular mystery discussed in such an intelligent way and would hate for any to miss it!

    Many thanks either way,
  14. Gerwyn

    Gerwyn Guest

    I think it could play a part there are however a number of unrelated pathogens who produce very much the same symptoms cocksakie rhinoviruses and so on----I can see that a cell expressing a receptor for say XMRV may not allow another gammaretrovirus I,m not sure that explains the virtual absence of all infections.Inflammation of the lungs sinuses and so on are primarily caused by the immune systems reactions to the virus rather than the virus itself.I can see a shift in t1 to t2 in autism as I believe that the theory of mitochondrial dysfunction aplies here to particulary with regard to initial damage to the immune system.I am actually reading a paper on this at the moment---or trying to!I don,t in balance feel that the presence of xmrv could keep out flu viruses and so on .As you say XMRV would have to be virtually omnipresent.
  15. natasa778

    natasa778 Senior Member

  16. _Kim_

    _Kim_ Guest

    Brilliant idea Koan!! Done.
  17. George

    George Guest

    Not quite??

    CFS/ME'rs actually have a lot of viruses that build up in their system over time. Which is one of the markers of a true CFS/ME patient right? In fact the jury is still out on whether XMRV is cause or just one of the multitudes. (grin) But in general while we feel really crappy all of the time we don't get the type of immune response that we did pre-CFS/ME.

    So viruses, including Rhino (cold) and Para (flu) as well as some of the more exotics (Parvo) get in but they don't create the response that they would have before, no fever at least. Because we already have the sore throat, swollen lymph glands, achy muscles, shortness of breath at the least exertion that we would notice if we didn't have CFS/ME.

    The T2 (up regulated) and B cells are in over drive 24/7 dealing with whatever the down regulated T1 cells have let in to play.

    The question about the pervasiveness of the virus in our systems got me to thinking about the XPR1 receptor. There was a paper out about it here in pub med which was a bit of a slog but Dr. Mikovitz responded in one of her lectures that the XPR1 receptor is non specific that that means it can bind to any cell. But I don't think that means that it's all pervasive. I think there is more to this little bit of RNA than just the ability to get into any cell.

    The important question would be what is the tissue reservoir, which they are working on right now. If it turns out to be the lymph system that would explain why it runs the immune system and would connect it directly to the sinus and lung tissue via the lymph nodes but it would also explain the higher rates of lymphoma in CFS/ME patients.

    Does any of that make sense?
  18. Min

    Min Guest

    It's the opposite with me. Since I became ill catch every bug going & how - my teacher husband brings them home & he is a bit poorly with them, but I am laid low for weeks even with 'just' a cold. These viruses etc send my muscle and joint pain levels rocketing. Each one etc. I catch leaves me more ill than before, it seems to become 'part' of my M.E./fibro.

    One of my problems is that when I do manage to get out in the wheelchair I'm sitting at the right level for people to sneeze and cough on me.
  19. Carrigon

    Carrigon Senior Member

    PA, USA
    I rarely ever catch a cold or a flu. The last flu I had was in 96. Cannot remember the last cold I ever had. If I ever get exposed, I throw it off in a day or two. The only thing that got me in all this time was Swine Flu. The Swine Flu enters the lungs differently from regular flues. And it has done a nasty number on me. I still have lingering symptoms from it that I can't shake.

    I think this disease protects the top part of the lungs and that's why we don't get regular flues. But when you get something like Swine Flu that gets in differently, we have no defense against that.

    Everything else over the years was due to CFIDS/ME. It has attacked every organ system in my body.
  20. jessjb79


    Mentor, Ohio
    I'm relieved to see others do not get colds, flus, etc. I use to get multiple colds and sinus infections per year but since I got sick with CFS/ME four years ago I have not had them at all! I've pondered this for so long and was worried that this absence of frequent infections and sicknesses excluded me from a CFS/ME diagnosis. Lately everyone around me at work and home seemed to have H1N1, the flu or an awful cold. I almost supernaturally seem to avoid what everyone around me gets. Someone recently said to me 'you must have have an immune system of steel!'. Ofcourse I was thinking I'd gladly trade a couple colds a year for this constant misery.

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