If there is a bacterial connection to autism, could that affect people more who are in close contact?

Clusters are geographic or cultural areas of higher Autism rates.

Prof. Jeremy Nicholson

Chair In Biological Chemistry, Head of Department, Department of Surgery and Cancer, Imperial College, London UK


Dr. Derrick MacFabe

Departments of Psychology (Neuroscience) & Psychiatry (Division of Developmental Disabilities), Director and Principal Investigator of the Kilee-Patchell-Evans Autism Research Group, University of Western Ontario, London, Canada.



Join The Discussion: What is the significance of clusters of autism?

6 thoughts on “If there is a bacterial connection to autism, could that affect people more who are in close contact?

  1. Many parents have reported that their children with autism seem to have improved behavior when they are sick with a fever. Could the bodies iron-withholding process during sickness be an avenue of exploration?

  2. Suzanne Azam asked: “My question is when you are given the diagnosis that it is one of the parents genes that is the source of autism, are we then ruling out the environmental factors? ”

    Why would you? Think And/And. Your family is more susceptible to injury due to genetics, so if anything you may want to pay more attention to environment, nutrition etc. not less.

  3. I’m very pleased to see that the topic of gut health is being talked about in the media.

    Rather than an ‘infectious bacteria’, what about shared ‘ecology’ as a result of two people with an imbalance of gut flora or leaky gut, conceiving, carrying and giving birth to different siblings, who then eat a similar diet that perhaps perpetuates disbiosis/an imbalance of gut flora and leaky gut (for instance, a diet that contains grains that contain gliadins and lectins,legumes (incl. soy biproducts) that contain saponins, potatoes which contain both, capsaicin found in some peppers, sugar, processed milk products, etc.)?

    What about antibiotics, which leave ‘bad’ bacteria to flourish without intensive repopulation with probiotics?

    Could autism be just another autoimmune condition that is on the rise like so many others (diabetes, for instance)?

    My child has autism, ADHD, OCD and Crohn’s. Within the rest of our extended family, we have or have had: Rheumatoid Arthritis, Fibromyalgia, Vitiligo, Asthma, Ecsema, Hypothyroidism, Diabetes, Lupus, Multiple Sclerosis, Epilepsy, colon cancer (x2), Ankylosing spondylitis. Do we all essentially have the same problem, manifesting in different ways?

    What are the researchers’ opinions on the GAPS diet and the work of Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride?

    • Could Flagyl be used insted of Venco myacin to kill Clostridia? Or is there another strong antibiotic that can be used. Is there a way to kill the spores of Clostridia? How much probiotic would be effective in overwhelming the Clostridia population? I have a grandson who have autism, six years old, eats nothing else than eggs, toast, cheese and banana bread. No fruits and vegetables. He is behind at school, though he has speech and occupational therepy. I am very interested in the bacterial approach to autism.

  4. I have 2 wonderful adult children. One (daughter) finally diagnosed with ASD at age 11. My son was diagnosed with PDD at the same time when he was 13. He is also deaf from birth. Both developed seizure disorder in their teens (16 and 18). Deafness delayed the diagnosis as medical experts could not communicate with sign language with him and did not understand the behaviour of a person with multiple diagnosis.
    My son is non verbal and very slow in expressive language (sign language) My daughter is verbal, very sociable but has obsessive behaviours. Medical experts diagnosed her earlier with anxiety disorder and OCD. Sick Kids genetics testing diagnosed their genes as being exactly the same as one of the parents, with abnormalities in 2 areas. My son was visibly delayed having hearing loss, diagnosed at age 12 months. My daughter was normal until age 2 and half. Though she did have gross and some fine motor problems. I diagnosed her as Aspergers from reading Tony Atwoods book. However as she has academic delays, she was given the general Autism Spectrum Disorder diagnosis.
    My question is when you are given the diagnosis that it is one of the parents genes that is the source of autism, are we then ruling out the environmental factors? If the family members are the carriers of the autism genes, were the genes in the family passed on or were they altered during their lifetime of the the parent, from viral infections or ?microbes as Dr McFabe is saying? Has any study into the family history been done?

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