Is our racial background prohibiting our cure?
A geographic account for immune response in Caucasians, Blacks, and the Aborigines.
(UPDATE: The claims in this article have been proved by the work of 2022 Nobel Prize Physiology and Medicine winner Prof Svante Paabo!)
“In life, in general though, one has to understand the enemy in order to beat him, and that’s especially true in medicine.” — Jared Diamond; Guns, Germs, and Steel; 1997
Jared Diamond, in his book, Guns, Germs, and Steel, made an important claim and his theory has yet to be refuted; geography has impacted the sociopolitical and technological superiority of the White Man.
Many proponents of Liberalism would look down on this book as a piece of unworthy literature that disparages the tremendous acculturation programs undertaken by the Great Colonial Fathers in perpetuating an Individualism and Egalitarianism of which the White Man stands as the unquestionable flag-bearer. Some would find power in it to scorn pro-colonialists. However, this book was never meant to be a racist treatise. As Jared Diamond cautions beforehand at the start of this book, that it sprung out of many years of contemplation toward a response to a question posed by an enthusiastic New Guinean native, Yali. His question, as curious and innocent though it was, excited Diamond for many years: “why is it that you white people developed so much cargo and brought it to New Guinea, but we black people had little cargo of our own?”
The word ‘cargo’ was used collectively for all the goods and materials the white people brought to New Guinea. Jared Diamond’s response is that the exigency of the Eurasian landmass made it easier and convenient for the White Man to conquer, colonize, and settle to distant continents.
The Native Americans became victims to Spanish microbes as they did to the military might of the Conquistadors. Genetic studies show that the sickle cell gene of the Africans confers resistance to Malaria, that the Tay Sachs gene of the Ashkenazi Jews confers resistance to Tuberculosis; indicating the value of genetic disposition to the natural selection of both human beings and the germs infesting them. Horizontal transfer of genetic material between organism of different species is a technique commonly studied in molecular biology. As is the concept of microbial ecology. Microbes attack the human body; the infected human either succumbs to the illness of the causative organism and dies, or he survives and transfers his genes of immunity to his offspring; thereby modifying the microbial pathogenic process in the transmission as well as conferring immunity from previous pathogens to the lineage. Like I said earlier, neither the human body nor the microorganism are that simple to understand. The pathogenesis and the body’s response are a very individual process; something that modern medicine understands too well, but its practitioners refuse to disseminate to the wider (layman) public.
A great majority of modern Eurasians descended from the common Aryan ancestors who migrated from the Russian steppes (Karen Armstrong; The Great Transformation). Indicating that such people would naturally have a common immune pattern and therefore similar susceptibility to diseases. The historical divergence of ethnicities is not ancient enough for a genetic divergence in the genetic disposition in this lineage.
A 5 year study (conducted from 2011–2015), published in 2016, determined the impact of racial differences on antibody and B-cell responses to Influenza A components of the Influenza vaccine; Trivalent (IIV3) and Quadrivalent (IIV4). Subjects included young (35–45 yrs) and older (65 yrs and over), Caucasian and African American individuals.
Antibody and B-cell levels were checked at baseline and post-vaccination. Immuno-regulatory markers to B cells were checked at baseline. The results are tabulated as follows:
The African Americans, at baseline, had greater circulating titers of PD1 (Programmed Cell Death Protein 1) as well as BTLA (B and T Lymphocyte Attenuator) which prevents the excessive activation of T lymphocytic response in physiological states, indicating a fully formed, advanced immune system that enables the Africans to survive in the hot, arid, natural geography of Africa; thereby conferring greater immunity.
The overseas expansion during the 15th century enabled the Portuguese to engage in a transatlantic slave trade of indigenous black people out of Africa. And herein lies the major bone of contention. The ‘white man’ who had initially expanded overseas travel mainly for trade-in ‘cargo’, eventually found greater monetary longevity in the vision of a proto-capitalist society built upon the backs of a labor class constituted primarily by the Africans; thereby making them an x-generation class of emigrants (who had previously stayed true to their continent). Continental adherence somehow confers greater immunity evident in the above study. The Caucasians however do respond better to vaccination which is shown as follows.
The case of differing serological responses to HiB PRP-OMPC vaccine between Australian native Aborigines and non-Aboriginal infants was checked. In 1993, both the indigenous children and the non-native children were given PEDA-VAX in January, but seven months later (in July), the aboriginal children were switched to HIBTITER since they showed no significant response to the previous inoculation. Nasopharyngeal swabs were taken both before and after vaccination and the results of this study are tabulated as follows:
The white children mounted a significantly better response to the vaccination whereas aboriginal children showed no remarkable improvement despite the change in vaccine formula. The Aboriginal children had a higher carriage status even twelve months after the vaccination indicating a slowed immune response. Non-native infants, despite being born in Australia, had a genetic predisposition for improved inoculum response.
A 1995 study indicates that vaccine response improves in direct proportion to the increasing distance from the Equator.
The Caucasian regions significantly distant from the equator mount a better response to immunization. The Africans and the Australians do not show remarkable responses to inoculation.
This begs the question; why do the Aborigines, despite Australia’s greater distance from the Equator, have a significantly weaker immune system than the Africans whose landmass crosses the Equator?
The answer lies in a major migration event that occurred nearly 75,000 years ago; the migration of a massive chunk of black people from Africa. Both the Australian Aborigines and the African blacks are classified as Denisovans. The people who eventually migrated from Africa to what is now Oceania, inter-bred with different races resulting in an altered immune pattern from that of the continent-adhering black people. The Australian Aborigines have a varied adaptive immunity. Major Histocompatibility Complex (MHC) Class II molecules CD4+ TH (T-Helper) cells are much lower in Aborigines than Caucasians, making them susceptible to SLE and rheumatic fever.
Of particular interest is the affliction that plagued Athens in 430 BC and is described extensively by Thucydides, in his History of the Peloponnesian War. Thucydides writes:
Violent heats in the head; redness and inflammation of the eyes; throat and tongue quickly suffused with blood; breath became unnatural and fetid; sneezing and hoarseness; violent cough’ vomiting; retching; violent convulsions; the body externally not so hot to the touch, nor yet pale; a livid color inkling to red; breaking out in pustules and ulcers. (2.49–2.50)
Many conclusions as to the nature of this disease have been made and eliminated; from Typhus to Typhoid, Pneumonic Plague, to the Bubonic Plague. However, in addition to the distant past in which the event occurred, another factor that could be the potential cause for dispute among modern Epidemiologists and Pathologists is that whatever microbe killed the Athenians in 430 BC, found its way to Greece from Egypt and Libya through the Mediterranean and into Persia; undergoing significant evolutionary changes during this period. It could have been altered to the point to produce modified symptoms in the Athenians somewhat distinct from diseases we could associate now with any particular microbe.
It is also noteworthy that significant Native American populations were wiped out by the White people by means of smallpox-infested cloths. Jared Diamond has identified the invaluable participation of germs as weapons in the inevitable clash between civilizations.
Germs are a potent weapon of mass murder. We have learned that lesson well since 2020, but the large scale vaccination programs with vaccines; Moderna, Pfizer, Sputnik, SinoVac(Pharm), that have been synthesized in one region and traded for inoculation into geographically and racially distinct regions, despite lowering (somewhat) the viral dissemination, will not bring the viral numbers down to a controllable amount. Unless genomic studies are performed and inoculum prepared to keep in mind the native populations, COVID-19 will continue to be a problem.