In the vast majority of my patients, I check a genetic test called an HLA DR/DQ from Labcorp (test #012542) I learned about this test from Dr. Ritchie Shoemaker. This gene is located on chromosome number 6 and it encodes a protein called an MHC Class II protein. Each person has two copies: one from the father and one from the mother. This test tells me if a person is susceptible to biotoxin illnesses and I’ve found that 98% of my patients are.
To give some background on this gene, when the immune system first encounters a foreign object such as a bacteria, the first immune cells to arrive on the scene are called APCs (Antigen Presenting Cells). The APC “eats” the foreign object then attaches it to a MHC Class II protein. It’s like taking a piece of the bacteria and and putting it in a picture frame. The APC then moves the foreign object and the MHC protein (the picture frame) to the surface of the cell so that the rest of the immune system (specifically T- cells) can study and learn how to defend against the foreign object. The APC essentially tells the rest of the immune system, “Look what I found! I put it in a picture frame!”
As an analogy, imagine that a crime was committed. The first police officer on the scene was able to take a picture of the criminal before he ran away. The policeman then shows a picture of the suspect to the rest of the police force. The MHC II protein does the same thing as the first police officer: to show a picture of the suspect to the rest of the immune system.
What if the police officer’s camera didn’t work well or he had trouble developing the picture? He wouldn’t be able to show the picture to the rest of the police department so they wouldn’t know who to look for. The criminal is able to run around the city to commit more crimes. This is what happens in Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome. The MHC II protein is unable to show a picture of the foreign invader to the rest of the immune system.
Ritchie Shoemaker, MD, has identified 10 types of MHC II proteins that are unable to show small biotoxins to the rest of the immune system. Biotoxins are poisons released by a variety of organisms. Examples include snake venom, bee venom, and jellyfish stingers. Bacteria and mold also make biotoxins. Some of the smallest biotoxins are those made from indoor mold and Lyme Disease. If one of these 10 types of MHC II proteins run into the small biotoxins from indoor mold or Lyme, they can’t “see” the biotoxins so the biotoxins are able to run around the body causing damage. There are about 50 other types of MHC II proteins that are able to recognize the small biotoxins from mold or Lyme so people with these don’t get biotoxin illneses very easily.
A list of the MHC II proteins / HLA DR/DQ that can’t recognize mold or Lyme biotoxins can be found at https://www.survivingmold.com/diagnosis/lab-tests. A more complete list can be found in his book Surviving Mold
4-3-53: susceptible to both biotoxins from mold and Lyme
11/12-3-52B: susceptible to both biotoxins from mold and Lyme
14-5-52B: susceptible to both biotoxins from mold and Lyme
7-2-53: susceptible to biotoxins from mold
13-6-52A, B, or C: susceptible to biotoxins from mold
17-2-52A: susceptible to biotoxins from mold
18-4-52A: susceptible to biotoxins from mold
15-6-51: susceptible to biotoxins from Lyme
16-5-51: susceptible to biotoxins from Lyme
1-5: susceptible to low MSH which makes one susceptible to biotoxins from mold and Lyme
About 25% of the world’s population have one of the 10 susceptible types of HLA DR/DQ gene. As of Nov 27, 2012 in my practice, I have tested 227 patients. Out of those 227 patients, 222 have one of the 10 types. That’s an astounding 98% of all of my patients who are vulnerable to the biotoxins from indoor mold and Lyme! Another way of putting it is nearly all of my patients come from only 25% of the population. I have spoken to my colleagues across the country and they’ve had very similar findings to mine. I sometimes joke that the HLA DR/DQ gene predicts if someone will get frustrated with conventional medicine and seek out alternative care.
I’ve written about some of the symptoms and diseases that are associated with these genes in my previous post. Unfortunately, there are only several hundred doctors in the world who are aware of this gene. Therefore, the vast majority of doctors know nothing about this gene so that countless patients are not diagnosed properly. I suspect there has been an increase in the number of doctors who are aware of this gene as a result of a talk given at this year’s ILADS conference and hopefully this important knowledge will continue to grow.