Emerging Worlds: Chronic Illness and Viral Infections

  Human Stealth-adapted Virus


The award winning pathologist and immunologist at the University of Southern California, W. John Martin, M.D., Ph.D., has identified what could be one of the most important scientific discoveries of this decade. A feature of the virus Martin and his colleagues at USC's Infectious Diseases and Molecular Pathology Laboratories have characterized is that it belongs to a unique class of atypical cytopathic viruses (capable of causing pathologic changes in cells), which they refer to as "stealth viruses" because they have the ability to evade detection by the body's cellular defense mechanisms and appear to lack the antigens which normally cause an inflammation typical of most infections that damage cells and body tissues. (Note: Most of the information below was taken from, and additional information can be found, on Dr. Martin’s website: www.ccid.org.)

Cytopathic viruses that lack antigens required for protective anti-viral cellular immunity have been grouped under the generic term "stealth." These viruses characteristically induce a vacuolating cytopathic effect (CPE) in cultures of normal human fibroblasts. The stealth virus infected cultures can be distinguished from cultures of conventional herpes viruses, adenoviruses, enteroviruses and retroviruses, by the appearance and host range of the CPE, and also by using selective immunological and molecular probe based assays. Stealth-adapted viruses can acquire additional genetic sequences from infected cells, including cellular genes with potential oncogenic activity. Certain stealth viruses have also acquired genes from bacteria and have been co-designated as viteria. Over expression of the assimilated cellular and bacterial genes probably explains the presence of intracellular and extracellular debris-like structures commonly seen in long-term stealth virus cultures.


Dr. Martin and his colleagues at USC's Infectious Diseases and Molecular Pathology Laboratories for the past eight years, have been meticulously culturing out stealth viruses from patients and, in a stunning development in early 2000, by using DNA sequence analysis they successfully identified one of the viruses as being of African green monkey origin. Kidney tissues from African green monkeys have been used to make the live oral polio vaccine (OPV) as well as other viral vaccines during the past three decades.

The monkey-related stealth virus they are studying, belonging to the herpes virus family that causes atypical viral infection of the brain – a “stealth virus encephalopathy” - is a cytomegalovirus that can produce a spectrum of disease symptoms without evoking an inflammatory response.

A person can become infected and can carry and transmit the virus to others without exhibiting symptoms. The stealth virus can also remain dormant in an infected individual, without exhibiting any symptoms, throughout life. However, the virus can become active, in some infected individuals, triggered possibly by significant mental or physical stress, and can go on to cause atypical responses to normal sensory input into the brain resulting in sudden, unexplained neurological symptoms. It is thought that the stealth virus can be transmitted by coming into direct contact with the virus (such as ingesting or being injected with a contaminated vaccine) or coming into contact with the blood or body fluids of an infected individual, similar to the HIV, hepatitis B, or polio viruses.


The stealth virus is an atypical virus infecting both children and adults who are exhibiting various neurological, psychiatric and autoimmune disorder symptoms with diagnoses including chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, depression, schizophrenia, anxiety disorder, seizures, developmental delays, autism, lupus, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, unexplained encephalopathy and chronic vegetative states.


Stealth viruses have been recovered from the blood, cerebrospinal fluid, urine, throat swabs, breast milk, brain biopsies and tumor samples, from patients with various neurological, psychiatric, autoimmune and neoplastic diseases. The characteristic vacuolating CPE and inclusion-like structures can be seen in brain and other tissue biopsies obtained from infected patients and animals. The lipid-laden cells infected with a stealth virus appear especially favorable to the growth of intracellular bacteria, including Borrelia burgdorferi, the agent of Lyme disease. This is in keeping with the consistent finding of positive stealth viral cultures in patients diagnosed with chronic Lyme disease. (See also Testing Labs link below)


Potential Therapy

Dr. George Lewis at The Center For Complex Infectious Disease works closely with Dr. John Martin and together they have developed specific therapy for stealth viral infected patients that includes anti-herpesviral medications, including acyclovir, valcyclovir, famciclovir, ganciclovir and forcarnet. Of these agents, ganciclovir administered either intravenously or orally has reportedly provided the most consistent, if still only partial, benefit. Not all patients have responded, however, and there is understandable reluctance to use potentially genotoxic compounds, especially in children. A trial of antibiotics and anti-fungal agents has helped certain patients, and may be addressing a possible reservoir of stealth viruses within a patient's bacterial and fungal flora.

Symptomatic relief is also indicated in stealth viral infected patients. The spatial segregation of brain functions renders this organ uniquely susceptible to localized stealth virus induced damage. Dysregulated neural networks and responses, reflecting an underlying viral encephalopathy, may be addressed using neurally active drugs and various forms of modified afferent stimulation of the brain. Altered autonomic system regulation of blood pressure and of other physiological adaptations, as well as any documented hormonal deficiencies should be treated with appropriate medications.

Benefits have been claimed by patients taking specific metabolic enhancing natural agents, such as S-adenosyl-methionine, creatine, betaine, folic acid, vitamin B6 and B12, NADH, etc. Dosages are not yet standardized and the caveat remains that one could conceivably be "feeding the virus." Studies on the effects of various alternative medications on the development and recovery from stealth viral induced CPE are currently underway within the laboratory. And at selected hospitals, a portion of both the outpatient and inpatient facilities has now been assigned for clinical stealth virus research.

Our Disclaimer: EmergingWorlds offers information compiled from various authoritative sources, including professional opinion, published record, and expert recommendation. EmergingWorlds does not endorse any specific treatment regime. All information is offered solely for the purpose of providing information on treatment potentials and protocols to assist individuals in making informed decisions about their health care options and does not represent therapeutic recommendation or prescription. Any decisions regarding specific medications or treatments should involve consultation with your professional health care provider.


Stealth virus discussion groups for patients, and a restricted group for interested physicians, are available on the Internet at www.onelist.com. Additional information and copies of various research publications on stealth viruses can be found at the Center for Complex Infectious Diseases website at www.ccid.org.


The Human Stealth Virus And It’s Animal Origins (www.ccid.org)


Stealth virus testing is available from the Center for Complex Infectious Diseases (CCID). An Acid Citrate Dextrose (ACD) yellow-topped tube of whole blood should be sent via Federal Express to the laboratory, accompanied by a physician request for testing, to:

W. John Martin, M.D., Ph.D.

Center for Complex Infectious Diseases (CCID)

Rosemead, CA 91770

Phone 626.572.7288

e-mail: ccidlab@hotmail.com

web site: www.ccid.org