By Dr. Jeannie Thomason
A titer test typically measures only ONE aspect of the immune system’s response to exposure to a virus or microbe – Particular antibodies circulating in the bloodstream. Titer testing cannot and does not measure immunity or memory cells.
A titer test does not and cannot measure immunity, because immunity to specific viruses is not reliant on antibodies, but on memory cells, which we have no way of measuring.
Memory cells are produced by T and B cells. These cells exist for the life of the dog (or cat or human, etc.). Circulating antibodies may or may not. Just because circulating antibodies are low (and therefore the titer is low), does not mean that your dog cannot fight infection if exposed naturally to parvovirus (or any other virus). The key here is how your dog is exposed to a virus. When the body is exposed to a virus naturally, via its first line of defense which is the Th1 level of the immune system, (the mucous membranes in the nose, mouth and lungs) the immune system is quickly able to recognize the virus as an enemy and mount a strong defense against it before it ever reaches the blood stream – Natural Immunity! However, when a virus (and a myriad of toxic chemicals, heavy metals, etc.) is introduced to the body via an injection into the blood stream, it totally by-passes the immune system’s first line of defense – it is a “surprise attack” on the second line of defense — (called the Th2 level of the immune system) which is very distressing to the body.
Titer tests cannot tell us what the memory cells are doing. Memory cells are considered essential for viral disease immunity for specific viruses. There is NO test for qualitative measuring of memory cells. Memory cells are what prompt the immune system to create antibodies that are dispatched to an infection associated with the pathogen that it “remembers.” Memory cells don’t need reminders in the form of re-vaccination to keep producing antibodies” (Science, 1999; “Immune system’s memory does not need reminders.”)
The antibody theory holds that a high titer count is supposed to tell if the animal is immune to the dis-ease while a low titer count would indicate that the animal is still susceptible to the disease. Big news everyone, antibody levels are NOT the same as IMMUNITY. The only time one should ever have high titer levels is when the body is actively combating an acute infectious disease! It is clear from the research of many doctors and health researchers that high levels of antibodies in the blood have NOTHING to do with immunity to the disease.
If the animal has recently encountered the virus, their level of antibody might be quite high, but that doesn’t mean they are any more immune than an animal with a lower titer. Titers will only read the antibodies in the blood.
There is also “Cellular Immunity” protecting a body – the “cell-mediated immune response”. (This cannot be measured with a blood test either). This is when the “T-cells” kick in and act as “killer” cells. This not only works for viruses but can also do the same against cancer cells. Another reason for so much cancer in our animals – over-vaccinating! !! We are annihilating the immune response and it will no longer work.
This is just one big reason that it’s so important to keep the immune system healthy and working properly!!
Please Watch this video on cell mediated immune response HERE
You see, viruses cannot replicate on their own and must invade our bodies and hijack our cells and cellular machinery to be able to replicate. This means that once a virus invades our body, it is in our own cells. The defense system against these viruses is twofold and can be divided into cellular immunity and humoral immunity.
As the name implies, cellular immunity works on a cellular level where T cells are able to detect which of our cells contain the unwanted virus and work to destroy it. When our T cells are activated against a virus, they file the information away for future use and this allows them to respond much quicker the next time the body is faced with the virus. These cells are always reproducing and they pass this memory on to their ‘children’ and this memory exists for life. This is how we or our dogs can be immune to many viruses after getting them once. The T cells protect cells like soldiers protect a fortress.
Dr. John March, an early developer of animal vaccines, wrote, “Particularly for viral diseases, the ‘cellular’ Immune response is all important, and antibody levels and protection are totally unconnected.” Interesting statement from a vaccine developer don’t you think?
Humoral immunity is like the front line troops that work outside the cellular fortress: it is the first line of defense. Humoral immunity occurs in the body fluids where B cells float around on sentry duty. When B cells come into contact with antigens (proteins from a virus), they activate antibodies, which they carry on their back. These antibodies identify and neutralize foreign proteins. Each antibody is responsible for a different antigen; so some might be responsible for distemper, some for parvo virus, etc. After an antibody is successful at neutralizing any nasty antigens, it will float around the body for years, working as a sentry.
Like T cells, B cells develop a memory which allows them to respond quicker and with more force the next time they come across the same virus. If you have your dog’s titers tested and the circulating antibodies are low this does NOT mean that immunity is low.
Immunity is an all or nothing thing: an animal is either immune or he is not. There is no grey area or sliding scale.
Vaccines’ repeated “back-door assaults” on the Th2 level of the immune system “flip the switch” and it becomes hyper-sensitive indefinitely and compels it to react inappropriately from then on to other normally harmless substances; the result is a generation of pets with damaged immune systems who suffer from food and environmental allergies, asthma, IBD, shortened life spans and increasingly more life threatening auto-immune disorders.
Dr. Glenn Dettman stated“Just because you give somebody a vaccine, and perhaps get an antibody reaction, doesn’t mean a thing. The only true antibodies, of course, are those you get naturally. What we’re doing [when we inject vaccines] is interfering with a very delicate mechanism that does its own thing. If nutrition is correct, it does it in the right way. Now if you insult a person in this way and try to trigger off something that nature looks after, you’re asking for all sorts of trouble, and we don’t believe it works.” [“The Great American Deception,” Let’s Live, December 1976, p. 57]
You see, the entire philosophy of vaccinations overlooks the crucial importance of actually contracting the various viruses/dis-eases as part of the normal development and training of the immune systems.
Based on this information, what is the predictive value of a titer test then?
Well, a high titer can have a very good predictive value. If a titer is high, then your dog is either suffering from the disease or has successfully fought it in the past. If a titer is low, then it is of little value at all since it comes down to the fact that a low titer does not necessarily mean low immunity.
The only reason for titers would be if you needed to try to prove to a pushy veterinarian insisting on vaccinating your pet that the vaccine was not necessary.
Think about this for just a minute; up until the last 35 years or so, (the time frame when the experiments of vaccinating became popular) there were no vaccines being produced or least not being pushed on us. During that time and long before, we and the animals had a built-in ability to defend ourselves against simple infections or viruses, (our immune system); if we had not, then none of us or our animal companions would have been able to survive as a species this long.
I am going to date myself a little bit here, but as a child I had the mumps, the measles, chicken pox etc. All before vaccines for these then called “childhood” viruses or diseases were ever created. And I was only really “sick” for a few days with a fever and lethargy.
We all contracted these viruses back then by simple exposure and guess what? The vast majority of us are all here to talk about it today. We are also truly immune to ever getting these viruses again. We as a species did NOT die off due to contracting these viruses. Did some die of these viruses? Yes, I am sure some did. However, most of those who did die were in third world countries where their diet was very poor and there was little to no real sanitation.
It has always been a return to eating a clean,natural diet and natural living with good hygiene which has been the most significant factors for the eradication of these illnesses, not as the vaccine manufactures and multi-trillion dollar medical industry would like you to think – from the introduction of un-natural vaccines!
The Creator of all life has equipped every form of life from the tiniest of plants to the most enormous of animals with the proper, natural mechanisms to fight off infections and create immunity to diseases – naturally.
The diseases themselves are the challenging mechanisms or teaching tools of the maturation process leading to the competence of the immune system. In other words, it is very beneficial for our dogs, (or us or any animal for that matter) to be exposed to diseases NATURALLY while they are still young. This is part of nature’s process of building and developing a healthy (immune) system.
Copyright 2013 Updated 2018
This article is the sole property of Dr. Jeanette (Jeannie) Thomason. It cannot be reproduced in any form whatsoever without the expressed written consent of the author.
Disclaimer: The information provided herein should be viewed as opinion based on research into the medical implications and contraindications of current veterinary treatments and procedures and should not be used for diagnosing or treating a health condition, symptoms or a disease in your pet. It is not a substitute for professional animal health care or a consultation with a qualified animal naturopath whose professional advice you trust.