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MEPs devise strategy to tackle vaccine hesitancy among public

BMJ 2018; 360 doi: (Published 23 March 2018) Cite this as: BMJ 2018;360:k1378

SIDS, Kawasaki Disease and narcolepsy: Same mechanism, different vaccines

Thanks to Dr. Cunningham for raising the issue of vaccine induced SIDS and Kawasaki disease (KD).

It has been demonstrated that there is molecular mimicry between several bacterial and yeast proteins contained in vaccines and SIDS associated cardiac muscle proteins. [1]⁠ Molecular mimicry between the H1N1 nucleoproteins and the human hypocretin receptor caused Pandemrix induced narcolepsy. [2⁠] The molecular match is stronger in the SIDS case than that of narcolepsy.

Sireci et al. [3]⁠ show involvement of molecular mimicry between Heat Shock Protein (HSP) 65 of Mycobacterium Tuberculosis and human HSP63, in KD.
Comparing BLASTP protein sequence alignment between vaccine antigens and the epitope identified by Sireci at al., show strong matches (again stronger matches than the narcolepsy case) that can explain the rise in KD occurrence.

BLASTP match scores for KD:
Saccharomyces cerevisiae 39.7, Clostridium tetani 32, Streptococcus pneumoniae 48.1, Corynebacterium diphtheriae 29.5, Bordetella pertussis 35, Haemophilus influenzae 26.9, Neisseria meningitidis 27.8, Mycobacterium tuberculosis (baseline) 29.5, Measles virus 19.7.

As a reference, BLASTP match score between the narcolepsy related H1N1 nucleoprotein epitope and human hypocretin receptor was only 19.3.

As can be expected from the Neisseria meningitidis score above, KD was also reported in meningococcal vaccine (Menveo) recipients. [4]⁠

If vaccine regulators were serious about safety, the entire vaccine fleet would have been grounded following the Pandemrix narcolepsy disaster, to check for the same mechanism of failure in other vaccines. But nothing of that sort happened ...


1. Arumugham V. Bioinformatics analysis links Sudden Infant Death Syndrome to vaccine induced autoimmunity against cardiac muscle proteins [Internet]. 2017. Available from:
2. Ahmed SS, Volkmuth W, Duca J, Corti L, Pallaoro M, Pezzicoli A, et al. Antibodies to influenza nucleoprotein cross-react with human hypocretin receptor 2 (ABSTRACT ONLY). Sci Transl Med. 2015;7(294):294ra105–294ra105.
3. Sireci G, Dieli F, Salerno A. T cells recognize an immunodominant epitope of heat shock protein 65 in Kawasaki disease. Mol Med. United States; 2000 Jul;6(7):581–90.
4. Novartis. Menveo vaccine package insert [Internet]. Available from:

Competing interests: No competing interests

02 April 2018
Vinu Arumugham
San Jose, CA, USA