Germs and Viruses

For three centuries bacteria have been considered to be alien and awe inspiring,even by sophisticated professors and dedicated students. Most of us still think thatthese tiny living beings are primarily germs and pathogens. They are often namedby the symptoms they (sometimes) cause: the syphilitic spirochete, the plague bacterium,the cholera vibrio and Legionella. In this book, Dr Sorin Sonea and his late colleagueDr Maurice Panisset, have begun to set the record straight. These organisms are notonly our own ancestors but also are the basis of our life-support system. They supplyour atmospheric gases, they cleanse our water supply, and, in general, they ensureus a livable environment.

Lyn Margulis, Professor of Biology,
Boston University;
from her Foreword to A New Bacteriology (1980)


   All our lives we have been taught that germs are bad, that theyare out to harm us. So we bathe daily using plenty of soap, wash our hands constantlyand would never think of eating a food morsel picked up from the floor. We give thefood morsel instead to the dog, which quickly gulps it down, hoping we will dropsome more. But dogs, generally, stay in better health than people; some of the mostfastidious people get sick quite often. Maybe there are more important things thangerms and viruses to be concerned about; maybe we have the wrong idea about germs.

   The principles of human survival are simple enough but becauseit seems to be human nature to suspect anything simple, we have managed to weaveso many complicated theories about human disease, human nutrition and the uniqueattraction humans have for germs and viruses that we cannot see the forest for thetrees. Physiologically, humans are not unique at all, and but for the lifestyle errorsthey have themselves invented they would have no more reason to fear germs than ascruffy dog gnawing at a dirty old bone.

   To understand better the natural relationship between germsand viruses and other forms of life, we must examine the fundamental principles thatgovern all forms of life on Earth. The first principle is that of symbiosis or coexistence,which states that all forms of life are one way or another dependent on each other,together forming what is known as the"web of life".

   Of all forms of life on Earth, the vast majority are too smallto be seen with the naked eye, inhabiting every minute space in the soil, water andatmosphere and on and within all larger creatures, and it was from such lowly formsof life that the higher forms evolved and upon which today the higher forms dependcompletely for their continued existence.

   To believe in the evolution of the species doesn't mean youhave to be an atheist, nor does it mean you have to accept word for word CharlesDarwin's theory. That the higher species evolved from more primitive ones had beenevident and speculated upon for centuries, and before Charles was born, his grandfather,Erasmus Darwin, respected doctor, inventor, poet and writer, himself had writtena thesis on the subject.

   Charles Darwin's theory of evolution was new only in that itpresented a plausible explanation of the evolutionary process based on observed phenomenaand not too much on imagination. Darwin did not invent the theory of evolution, heinvented a theory of how it worked. Darwin believed, at least when his theory waspublished, that the changes in a species from one generation to another which ledeventually to a new species altogether were entirely accidental, random changes,and that such random changes only became permanent if they conveyed an advantagegiving a better chance of survival. He called this process "natural selection",and from this concept arose the expression "survival of the fittest".

   Darwin's theory evolved in his mind from his observations asa naturalist, and his concept of natural selection is not in dispute. The part ofhis theory which has always been disputed is the belief that the evolutionary changesare random, occurring entirely by chance.

   When the complexity of a single living cell is contemplated,it is inconceivable that random chance events in the wide open spaces--or for thatmatter, intelligently directed events in a modern laboratory--could ever have producedsuch an exquisitely complex thing. And even given a complete living cell to startwith, and unlimited time, the number of random mutations needed to produce even somethingas lowly as an earthworm is so infinitely great that for them to occur with the necessaryprecision and exact sequence by sheer accident is beyond the remotest possibility.A humorous cartoon the author has never forgotten seeing in a color magazine yearsago depicts an artist painting a portrait. Disgusted that he cannot get it right,the artist throws all his different colored paints into a bucket and hurls it allat the canvas. Then, looking back over his shoulder as he packs up his things toleave, he is suddenly transfixed. His eyes pop out. There smiling at him from thecanvas, arms folded, in all her perfection, is--the Mona Lisa!

   If then the supposition is correct that evolution could notoccur by chance alone, it must be that there exists in Nature some guiding forcewhich, even if working by trial and error, nevertheless works with a purpose. Thiswas the conclusion arrived at by Darwin himself in his later years when speculatingon the intricate structure of the human eye. Louis Pasteur was not the only scientistto have second thoughts on an unproven theory. Thus we talk about "the wisdomof Nature" and of "Nature's grand design", or simply acknowledge GodAlmighty. Who was it* said: "IfGod did not exist it would be necessary for manto invent him."? Thus it becomes clear that an understanding of evolution doesnot deny the existence of God; on the contrary, it confirms it.

   When people talk about human evolution they usually assume itcommenced only a few million years ago, starting from an ancestor in the form ofsome sort of ape. Others refer further back to the origin of the line of primatesfrom which the apes evolved. But going even this far back reveals only changes inshape, size and brain capacity. Biologically and anatomically, the modern human ispractically identical to these relatively immediate ancestors. So further and furtherback you can follow the evolutionary trail--granted with gaps here and there--andfind that even earthworms have hearts, blood and immune systems of a rudimentarykind.

   Did evolution start then with the first cell as many evolutionistssuppose? How far back can we go? Well, if you really want to get involved, you cango back a long way further, because within every cell are contained living componentsand systems of greater complexity than ever, and research has shown that from thefirst appearance of life on Earth, it took several billion years for the aerobiccell itself to evolve, whereas all the rest since has taken but a billion years.In evolutionary terms the functioning cell was the breakthrough from which Naturecould make trees and animals of all kinds. And finally (but hopefully not too finally)that dubious product, Homo sapiens . . .

   What has all this talk of evolution got to do with germs andviruses? Viruses are the most primitive life forms known. By themselves they areinert and apparently lifeless, requiring combination with components within livingcells before exhibiting lifelike characteristics. It is conjectured whether at onetime they were part of the evolution of cells or whether they are unwanted remnantsof the process. Viruses are of different sizes, the largest known being very muchsmaller than the smallest bacteria (germs), which are in fact simple cells. Somebacteria are aerobic (require oxygen) and some are anaerobic, depending on whetheroxygen is available to them or not, being capable of change according to the stateof their immediate environment.

   All living things on Earth are interdependent on other livingthings, the entire scenario being in a rather fine balance. The upsetting of thisbalance even just a little may result in the extinction of some life forms and drasticchanges in others struggling to survive. We are now getting closer to the point,which is: what part of the scheme of things do germs and viruses play?

   All forms of life are capable, in varying degrees, of adaptingto environmental changes, and germs and viruses have been doing that from time immemorial.They are part of the scenario of life, they have a role to fill and a purpose toserve as part of Nature's "Grand Design".

   When Anton van Leeuwenhoek (1632-1723) constructed one of thefirst effective optical microscopes, he was astounded at the complexity of miniaturelife forms that inhabited the world unseen to the naked eye. In a drop of clear waterwere myriads of tiny microbes of different kinds moving about. Similar microbes areeverywherein the air, the soil, the water and within living tissue. Van Lceuwenhoeksaid: "I have had several gentlewomen in my house who are keen on seeing thelittle eels in vinegar [nematodes], but some of them were so disgusted at the spectaclethat they vowed they would never use vinegar again. But what if one should tell suchpeople in future that there are more animals living in the scum on the teeth in aman's mouth, than there are men in the whole kingdom?"

   Thus since before the higher forms of life began to appear,the world has been teeming with bacteria (germs), which micro-organisms form thebasis of all other forms of life. They manufacture soil out of rock, destroy unhealthytissues of plants and animals, break down dead tissues of plants and animals to beused again, and actually form an essential part of the body and body functions ofall animals. In this latter regard the behavior of the various forms of bacterianormal in the body is dependent on the environment within the body (which shouldbe healthy but very often in humans is not), and it is only when the milieu interieurbecomes deteriorated that many normal bacteria change from a benign form to apathological form, again as a natural consequence. In Nature it is the survival ofthe species that counts, and individuals are expendable for the survival of the majority.The weak or sickly in the wild are not tolerated to handicap the group, and one wayor another are soon eliminated by predators appointed for the purpose. C'est lavie. So when a person allows a pathological condition of body chemistry to developwithin them they should realize that what follows is not a perversity of fate oran unlucky encounter with germs of a criminal nature, but merely another step ina natural sequence of events.

   The scientist who in the 19th Century made the greatest contributionto the science of microbiology was Antoine Bechamp* (1816-1908), many of whose discoveries,all recorded in the annals of the French Academy of Science, have erroneously beencredited to Louis Pasteur** (1822-1895)

   There was no love lost between the two French scientists, whosepersonalities were entirely different, and the record shows that although Pasteurplagiarised much of Bechamp's work, his popularity survived largely because of thefavor he curried from Napoleon III and the High Church. On the other hand, Bechampwas immersed entirely in his work, seeking neither favor or fortune, and althoughdevout in his religious faith he was held in disfavor by the Bishops of the Church,who could not comprehend the unconventional manner in which he expressed his faith.

   Before Bechamp's time the theory of the cell being the basicunit of life was well established, but Bechamp's investigations showed that the cellitself was made up of smaller living entities capable of intelligent behavior andself-reproduction. He referred to these as 'molecular granulations' and gave themthe name of microzymas, which he said were the real basic units of life.

   Bechamp described how in certain conditions microzymas coulddevelop into bacteria within a cell and could, if the right conditions persisted,become pathological, so that infection could develop in the body without the acquisitionof the germ from an outside source. These observations supported the belief of ProfessorClaude Bernard (1813-78), who contended that no matter where germs came from theypresented a danger only if the body was in a run-down state due to a disturbed milieuinterieur.

   Because other researchers without Bechamp's finesse had notobserved the changes in form capable by various microbes, it was believed in orthodoxcircles that each form of the same microbe, at the time it was observed, was an entirelydifferent microbe in its own right which remained always the same. Thus as the 19thCentury came to a close, two schools of thought existed: pleomorphism as propoundedby Bechamp and Ernst Almquist (1852-1946) of Sweden, and monomorphism as propoundedby Pasteur and Robert Koch* (1843-1910) of Germany. About this time Germany becamepredominant in world medical research, and because the germ theory of disease hadbecome firmly entrenched in the minds of orthodox doctors, the research into microbiologybecame focussed more on medical problems than on the general study of biology.

   Nevertheless, evidence supporting the concept of pleomorphismkept appearing. * In 1907 Doctors A. Neisser and Rudolph Massine described the mutation-likephenomena in a strain of B coli, and in 1914 Philip Eisenberg published aseries of papers on bacterial variability. A similar study was published in 1918by bacteriologist Karl Baerthlein, which later received high praise from Dr PhillipHadley, University of Pittsburg, in his paper "Microbic Disassociation"(Journal of Infectious Diseases, Vol. 40, 1927).

   In 1898, Guenther Enderlein (1872-1968) graduated with honorsin natural sciences, physics and zoology from Leipzig University, and in 1914 hebecame a bacteriologist and serologist at the German military hospital at Stettin.Enderlein had studied the findings of Antoine Bechamp and had further studied underRudolph Leuckart, the zoologist who initiated the modern science of parasitology,and also under Otto Schmidt, the doctor who in 1901 reported the discovery of parasitesin the blood of cancer patients. (Schmidt was not the first to discover cancer parasites.As early as 1890 Scottish pathologist William Russell reported on widely variegatedmicrobes present in all cancer tissue, which microbes were referred to as "Russellbodies".)

   It was in 1916 while studying typhus that Dr Enderlein observedmicroscopic living entities in blood samples which he called protits, which couldmove, unite with other microorganisms and disappear. Later on, using dark field microscopy,he observed that these micro-organisms could change in form through a cycle of countlessvariations, and he also described how different types of protein-based micro-organismsflourished in blood cells and plasma of all animals, representing an essential partof the normal life process. As part of the normal life process, these microorganismslive together within the body in a mutually beneficial relationship known as symbiosis.However, he noted that with any deterioration of the body's interior environmentin which the pH of the blood becomes either acid or strongly alkaline* the normallyharmless microbes would begin to change and in stages evolve into forms of a pathogenicnature, just as Bechamp had said. Enderlein recorded these observations in his bookBakterien Cyclogenic (The Life Cycle of Bacteria), published in 1925 (translatedfrom the German by Dr Phillip Hadley), at which time he became a member of the MicrobiologicalSociety of Vienna of which he was later to become president.

   Dr Enderlein's sixty years of research using more refined equipmentachieved discoveries which precisely duplicated those of Bechamp and confirmed Bechamp'sviews. Enderlein found that::

  1. The cell does not represent the primary living unit of the body. Instead the primary units were tiny biological units which he called protits which live within the cells.
  2. The blood is not sterile, but contains micro-organisms capable of causing mischief given the proper milieu.
  3. Certain micro-organisms undergo an exact, scientifically verifiable growth cycle.

   Presently Dr Enderlein's findings continue to be confirmed byDr Erik Enby of Gothenburg, Sweden, where he practises biological medicine and isassistant physician at the Vasa Hospital. Dr Enby's observations of microorganismsare done using interference contrasting microscopy.

   Shortly after Bakterien Cyclogenic was published, Americanresearchers F. Loenis and N.R. Smith collaborated to write Studies of the LifeCycles of Bacteria, which Enderlein welcomed as sufficient support to finallyfinish the pleomorphism vs monomorphism argument, but as always the orthodox medicalestablishment was not interested in anything which did not agree with the textbooksand the monomorphic dogma contained therein. Another "medical heretic"was Dr William F. Koch, BA MA Ph.D MD,* of Detroit, whose life's work was the studyof the biochemistry in disease. In his book The Survival Factor in Neoplasticand Viral Diseases (1961) he says:

   "Glover showed in 1923 that the cancer virus existed in a pleomorphic form that was a bacillus in one phase and coccus in another, and virus in the third phase. He also showed it could exist in a fungus or mycelium phase. The latter form has been identified lately by Irene Diller and some others, and the whole chain of forms was independently proved by von Brehmer in the last few decades as well. The work was thoroughly repeated and proved by my friend Jacob Engel and George Clark, at the US PHS Laboratories but, for reasons we will not discuss, they were not allowed to publish their findings."

   In 1933, Dr Wilhelm von Brehmer stated his belief in the theorythat cancer was a constitutional disease related to diet and lifestyle, and in hisbook Sipohonospora Polymorpha von Brehmer he identified this blood parasite(S.p.), a bacterial form of the fungi Mucor racemosus, as a carcinogenic agentpresent in cancerous growth. His research showed that excessive alkalinity of theblood permitted lower forms of mucor to develop into pathogenic rods. (When S.p.was again discovered by Dr Virginia Livingstone Wheeler of San Diego she called it"Progenitor Cryptocides", while other doctors just called it the cancermicrobe.)

   Not only cancer, but all chronic pathological conditions displayin the blood various pleomorphic microorganisms which originate from within the bodyitself to proliferate and participate in the disease process. Dr Raymond Brown, formerlyof the Sloan Kettering Institute for Cancer Research, in his book AIDS, Cancer,and the Medical Establishment (1986) says:

   "Pleomorphic organisms are demonstrable as the silent stage of a gamut of infections that include Tuberculosis, Syphilis, Leprosy, Rheumatic Fever, Undulant Fever, Typhoid, and Candida. They have been repeatedly found in diseases of undetermined etiology: Arthritis, Cancer, Multiple Sclerosis, Sarcoid Collagen Disease, Whipple's Disease, Crohn's Disease, and Kaposi's Sarcoma."

   Additional up-to-date information on pleomorphism is revealedin the 1981 book Symbiosis in Cell Evolution by Dr Lynn Margulis of BostonUniversity:

   "A very few eukaryotes* and protoctists, and a few fungi, are tolerant to anaerobic conditions, but under such conditions the mitochondria shrink (sometimes until they are invisible) and become non-functional. This differentiation is reversible; the organisms retain the capacity to re-differentiate the mitochondria."

   It was the constant observations of differently described microbesin the blood and tissues of cancer patients that eventually prompted the US NationalInstitute of Health to launch a full-scale investigation as to whether cancer wasvirus caused, which investigation in the 1970s (President Nixon's War Against Cancer)showed that the so-called cancer virus was resultant to the disturbed body chemistrywhich precedes cancer and not the cause of it, a fact stated over the last hundredyears by many distinguished cancer researchers.

   That germs from outside the body can cause disease in susceptiblepeople is not disputed. There are many instances of epidemics so caused, such asthe cholera epidemic of 1854 in Lambeth, London, when water supplied by one particularstreet pump became contaminated by a cesspool, and many people using that pump camedown with cholera, while people nearby, using a different supply, suffered no cholera.The epidemic stopped as soon as the pump was de-activated.

   Probably the most well-known case of infection by human contactoccurred not long before that in 1847 when there was an appalling death rate amongwomen in childbirth at a hospital in Vienna. The doctor in charge, Ignaz Semmelweis,*realized that the cause of the puerperal sepsis infecting women was that many ofthe doctors were in the habit of attending the women immediately after having beenvivisecting corpses elsewhere in the hospital and that none of them washed theirhands. When Semmelweis insisted all doctors must wash their hands in chlorinatedwater before attending at childbirths, the death rate among mothers dropped quicklyfrom 18% to less than 3%.

   This case is particularly interesting because it demonstratesnot only the cases both for and against the germ theory, but at the same time thecase for pleomorphism, the changing of microbes from one form into another. A healthybody's milieu interieur is alkaline in nature with a pH of 7.2-7.6 (7.0 beingneutral), any variation either way tending towards disease. In acidic conditionsmorbidity increases in proportion to acidity, and after death the acidity becomesmuch stronger, providing the environment for the body to decompose. The dead tissuesself-destruct in the process called autolysis under the influence of the naturalenzyme, cathepsin, and the action of natural bacteria which appear automaticallywhen the acid condition occurs. Where do these bacteria come from? Answer: they havebeen in the body all the time but in a different form which is harmless.

   They are the bacteria Mucor racemosus fresen which, asstated by Dr Enderlein and Dr von Brehmer, change in form according to the stateof the milieu interieur, from its harmless, symbiotic stage through a numberof other stages (which are reversible) to become pathogenic and finally tissue destructive.In this final phase the bacteria, now resembling a fungus, is most pathogenic, andon the unwashed hands of the doctors from the dissecting room were a lethal threatto anyone susceptible to them.

   But not every woman in Semmelweis' maternity section was susceptible,and even at the worst time, eighty-two out of a hundred escaped the deadly puerperalsepsis. Many hundreds of people in Lambeth died of cholera in the cholera epidemic;they were the susceptible ones--the unsusceptible ones escaped.

   Maybe a better illustration of susceptibility and unsusceptibilityis given by Sir Albert Howard in his book The Role of Insects and Fungi in Agriculture.In the livestock industry, foot and mouth disease is considered so deadly that entireherds are destroyed and burned once the disease appears in any of the animals toprevent it spreading to other farms. But Sir Albert had this to say:

   "For twenty one years [1910-31] I was able to study the reaction of well-fed animals to epidemic diseases, such as rinderpest, foot-and-mouth disease, septicemia and so forth, which frequently devastated the countryside. None of my animals were segregated, none were inoculated; they frequently came in contact with diseased stock. No case of infectious disease occurred. The reward of well-nourished protoplasm was a very high degree of disease resistance; which might even be described as immunity."

   In his book Soil, Grass and Cancer (Crosby Lockwood,London, 1959), French author Andre Voisin, biochemist and agriculturist, demonstratedhow health and disease are related to the soil via the nutritional quality of thecrops produced thereon. In regard to foot and mouth disease in cattle, Voisin quotedGerman and French data showing the disease hardly ever occurred in granite and sandyregions, but that sometimes in soils high in lime it affected up to eighty per centof animals. The susceptibility to the disease Voisin ascribed to copper deficiency,which prevented the animals producing enough catalase, the predominant protectiveenzyme of the immune system.

   Similar examples of lowered catalase in both humans and animalsthat permitted otherwise harmless germs to act pathogenically to produce differentdisease symptoms were given, and as the title of the book indicates, the importanceof trace minerals in the prevention of cancer was emphasized.

   In regard to tuberculosis Voisin said:

   "The lungs of each one of us are inhabited by millions of tuberculosis bacilli, which we manage to accommodate quite well. They live there very peacefully without delivering frenzied attacks against our cells. Why then, do they suddenly thrust themselves upon one of our organs (most often the lungs) and make us tuberculosis sufferers?"

   Voisin then went on to demonstrate how defective nutrition isthe underlying problem, the milk from tuberculous cows having no bearing on the matterbecause the human victim's bacillus is already present, with or without the milk.As for the tuberculous cows, they do not have to be destroyed; like their human counterpartsall they need is better pastures and conditions.

   That healthy humans are every bit as disease resistant as healthyfarm animals is borne out by an extract from the book Immune for Life by ArnoldFox, MD, of Los Angeles, former Assistant Professor of Medicine, University of California,Irvine:

   "Many years ago, as a resident in Internal Medicine at Los Angeles County Hospital, I was in charge of the adult infectious-disease ward. For ten to fifteen hours a day, I was exposed to just about every infectious illness you can imagine. These patients had tuberculosis, meningitis, the very deadly septicemia and other dangerous diseases. They coughed and sneezed on me; I got their blood, sweat and even feces on my hands. But I didn't 'catch' any of their diseases. My 'doctor within' kept me in perfect health.

   Some time later I was transferred from the infectious-disease ward and into surgery. Months later I came down with meningitis, a potentially deadly infection of the covering of the brain. I hadn't been near anyone with meningitis who could have given' me the disease. What happened was that I was working double shifts, going to every class and lecture offered, and moonlighting as well. I had run my immune system down to the ground."

   The experience of Dr Fox is not unique, being common to alldoctors, nurses and other hospital staff all around the world, and the great wonderof medicine is that Pasteur's germ theory of disease holds on in peoples' minds theway it does.

   That a healthy body can resist infection even in unhygieniccircumstances seems to surprise a lot of people, the author's wife included. RecentlyI was engaged in unloading some old planks from my truck, and I ripped my right indexfinger to the bone just above the knuckle on a rusty nail. As the blood spurted outI could see the cut needed stitching, but I figured I would finish unloading thetruck if I could stem the bleeding. In the truck was some old rag I had tied aroundsome garden stakes so I tore off a strip, bandaged the wound and finished unloading.Back at the house my wife insisted I should go to the local hospital to have thewound sterilised, stitched and so forth, to escape the "deadly" tetanus*germ, but as by this time the bleeding had stopped completely, I simply rebandagedthe wound over the dried blood and dirt without so much as washing it, and put mytrust in Nature. I recalled that as a boy my frequent wounds sometimes festered andtook ages to heal but now over fifty years later I figured I was healthier and thingswould be different. The wound would of course have been better stitched because myhand movements would not permit it to close properly, but nevertheless it healedcompletely in a bit over a week but left an ugly scar which made me regret not havingit stitched. However, I was surprised that as a few more weeks went by the raisedscar diminished so that now only the faintest suggestion of a scar remains.

*The reason why people with good blood need have no fear of tetanusis made clear in a statement taken from Dr Otto Warburg's lecture "The PrimeCause and Prevention of Cancer" given at the meeting of Nobel Laureates at Landau,Germany, on 30 June 1966 (see Chapter 12):

"If it is true that the replacement of oxygen-respiration by fermentation is the prime cause of cancer, then all cancer cells without exception must ferment, and no normal growing cell ought to exist that ferments in the body.

   An especially simple and convincing experiment performed by the Americans Mahngren and Flanegan confirms that view. If one injects tetanus spores, which can germinate only at very low oxygen pressures, into the blood of healthy mice, the mice do not sicken with tetanus, because the spores find no place in the normal body where the oxygen pressure is sufficiently low . . . However, if one injects tetanus spores into the blood of tumor-bearing mice, the mice sicken with tetanus, because the oxygen pressure in the tumors can be so low that the spores can germinate. These experiments demonstrate in a unique way the anaerobiosis of cancer cells and the non-anaerobioses of normal cells."

   The reason my hand did not become infected was that I am notsusceptible to infection, which is why I never "catch" colds or flu either.

   Thus it becomes very clear that the real cause of infectiousdiseases is whatever it is that renders a person susceptible. And we know what thatsomething is: it is the absence of homeostasis in the body brought about by a disturbedmilieu interieur.

   "The body is the temple of the soul", so it is said,and germs are natural inhabitants of it, some of which assist in the day to day runningof the temple and some which, when the temple begins to decay, perform to more quicklycomplete its destruction.

   As Robert Ingersoll said: "In Nature there are neitherrewards or punishments. There are consequences."

Addendum to Germs and Viruses

   If I could live my life over again, I would devote
   it to proving that germs seek their natural
   habitat, diseased tissue, rather than being the
   cause of the diseased tissue.

      Rudolph Virchow (1821-1902)

   The long-standing confusion about germs can be understood whenit is considered that, even within the restrictions limiting the powers of visuallight microscopes (as compared to the electron microscope), there are worlds withinworlds, depending on which range of magnification is being explored and whether thedesign of the microscope permits the study of living tissue (blood and cells) oronly that which is dead.

   Dr Abraham Baron, B.Sc MSc Ph.D, Professor of bacteriology,biochemistry and physiology at Long Island University 1935-1941, wrote the book ManAgainst Germs (1958, Robert Hale, London) in which he describes "monomorphically"the different microbes and the diseases associated with them. Then right at the endin the final chapter on Q Fever, to Dr Baron's puzzlement, pleomorphism enters thescene:

   "These germs, a new and unusual species of Rickettsia, are extraordinary; they are remarkably adaptable and incredibly vigorous. They can assume any size and any shape, sub-dividing into almost invisible granules as small as the smallest of the viruses, or growing out into large coarse filaments, but in any form their virulence remains undiminished. They can infect any species of animal, animal to man, or man to man. The full account of their potentialities still escapes the formulae of science and medicine. Q Fever is more than just a disease; it is the key to a law of Nature." (author's italics)

   Then in his final paragraphs, Professor Baron (without knowingit) described Antoine Bechamp's microzymas, which but for the dogmatism of Pasteurand Koch he would have learned about at medical school instead of at the end of hiscareer:

   "Within the protoplasm of our living cells, there is a miscellany of small strange particles that vaguely resemble bits of string, or tiny spheres, or miniature corkscrews. And ever since the microscope was discovered, many generations of scientists have peered and poured over them and disputed their significance. Some claim that these particles in the human protoplasm are extremely important, possessing certain vital (but unspecified) functions, while others believe they are trivial with trivial functions. And still others insist that these particles have no function at all, that they are shadowy "nothings" that exist only in the overwrought imaginings of over-enthusiastic scientists, or as imperfections in their microscopes, their straining eyes or their laboratory technique. Although the embattled scientists agree neither on the status or the functions of these protoplasmic particles, they are compelled to agree at the least on a casus belli, even if only to deny that it exists. The most bitter opponents of their existence must call these strange particles something, and so some of them have been named--centrioles, mitochondria, nucleoli, plastids, vacuoles, inclusions, Golgi network, granules, globules, filaments, fibers, fibrilles, and "ad infinitum".

   There are other scientists who study human protoplasm in quite another manner and are completely uninterested in the particles within the human living cells. From their researches on immunity to disease, they have deduced that certain germs (the viruses of poliomyelitis, for example) first infect and cause disease and thereafter never leave the human body. Then the germs no longer cause disease, but they remain alive though inert for a human lifetime.

   There is still another school of scientists who probe into the disputed interior of living human cells. They have discovered that they can extract germs from healthy uninfected, undiseased human cells. The germs they extract are alive and will grow on human tissue, but never cause disease. The scientists are convinced that there are always living germs buried deeply within human protoplasm."

   And so, more puzzled at the end of his long career than he wasas a student, but ever so close to the answer he was seeking, Professor Baron concludeshis book:

   "If we have correctly interpreted Nature's law, then all our disease germs will change from antagonism to co-existence, and turn from dangerous bits of alien life into inconspicuous particles within our living cells. Perhaps far ahead in the future in a disease-free world, the descendants of germs and men will live together harmoniously in a mingling of protoplasm--a perfect symbiosis of men and germs."

   I have included Professor Baron's remarks for two very importantreasons. Without realizing it, the professor has illustrated clearly the fundamentalerrors in thinking that have prevented any worthwhile progress in medicine for overone hundred years:

  1. The unswerving belief in the monomorphic nature of germs despite all the evidence they are polymorphic, a phenomenon witnessed and described by Professor Baron himself.
  2. The belief that germs and viruses are "dangerous bits of alien life" out to harm us.

   The professor has indeed correctly interpreted Nature's lawsinsofar as Nature is desirous that germs and men should co-exist harmoniously, buthe fails to realize that to achieve this state of "perfect symbiosis" wedo not have to look far ahead into the future at all, because it is available tous right now and always has been. Whether germs behave like dangerous bits of alienlife or like inconspicuous particles is entirely up to us and how we choose to lookafter our milieu interieur.

   And in case you think that antibiotics and vaccines offer away to cheat the system, I suggest that would be as dangerous an error as ever medicalscience has devised. Nature cannot be fooled, and her justice is uncompromising.