Syndrome et mutivaccination

Syndrome, guerre et polémique

Dix ans après le conflit ayant opposé l’Irak aux pays de l’OTAN, la polémique règne encore autour de l’origine exacte du 'syndrome de la guerre du Golfe'. Une étude menée sur des vétérans britanniques met en cause la multi-vaccination.

  

C’est parmi les 697 000 engagé(e)s américains qu’on compterait le plus grand nombre de cas de 'syndrome de la guerre
du Golfe':
20 000 environ.

PHOTO:
© Defenselink.mil/

1 -BMJ 2000, vol.320: p.1363-1367.

Dans les mois suivant l’intervention des forces armées américaines et de ses alliés en Irak (1990-1991), des milliers de soldats britanniques et américains sont victimes d’un mal inexpliqué. Baptisé 'syndrome du Golfe', il se traduit par tout un panel de symptômes très disparates: troubles neurologiques, psychologiques, musculaires, respiratoires ou encore dermatologiques. Dans une étude récemment parue dans la revue scientifique British Medical journal(1), des chercheurs du King’s College de Londres confirment l’hypothèse d’un lien entre certains de ces symptômes et les nombreux vaccins administrés aux soldats britanniques pendant les opérations militaires.
En 1991, craignant l’utilisation d’armes bactériologiques par l’Irak, les autorités britanniques décident de vacciner les militaires présents dans le Golfe. Bien qu’ils n’aient pas voulu donner un caractère obligatoire à cette vaccination, il semble qu’une faible proportion seulement de militaires aient préféré y renoncer, par crainte des effets secondaires. Près de 52 000 soldats britanniques recevront ainsi un véritable cocktail de vaccins contre la peste, la polio, la maladie du charbon, le choléra, la
typhoïde et la fièvre jaune.
'Le ministère de la Défense devait s’assurer que le personnel militaire serait protégé contre les infections endémiques et les armes bactériologiques. L’utilisation de multiples vaccins était probablement inévitable. Je ne pense pas que l’armée aurait pu prévoir un risque sur la santé avec la multivaccination', analyse Matthew Hotopf, médecin au King’s College de Londres et auteur de l’article. Ainsi les Britanniques ont-ils joué la carte de l’extrême prudence.

  

2 -The Lancet 1997, vol.349, p.1831-1833.

Un effet de 'masse'

Selon les travaux de Matthew Hotopf et de ses collègues, les militaires ayant reçu au moins cinq de ces vaccins présentent un risque cinq fois plus élevé d’être atteints de fatigue, dépression, stress et douleurs musculaires. Aucun vaccin ne serait à mettre en cause en particulier: c’est l’effet de 'masse' qui semble incriminé. D’après les chercheurs britanniques, seuls les soldats ayant été vacciné pendant les opérations sont affectés, contrairement à ceux qui l’ont été avant le début du déploiement militaire: la combinaison entre la multi-vaccination et le stress de la situation (le changement de climat, les conditions de vie et la peur) a pu amplifier la réaction. Ces résultats viennent ainsi confirmer une première étude parue en 1997(2) qui avait mis les scientifiques sur la piste immunologique.
Pourtant, beaucoup de questions demeurent en suspens. En particulier, le mécanisme d’action, qu’il soit biologique ou psychologique, reste inconnu.
'L’interaction apparente entre la multi-vaccination et les symptômes liés au syndrome de la guerre du Golfe n’a été observée que sur un ensemble de 923 personnes sur 3 284. Les résultats sur un échantillon aussi restrictif ont pu être faussés', déplore le docteur Seif Shaheen, docteur du King’s College de Londres, dans un article de la même revue scientifique BMJ(3).
Mais la polémique ne se limite pas à la seule communauté scientifique: les médias et le monde politique britanniques sont évidemment intervenus(4). Selon l’association des anciens combattants de la guerre du Golfe, 5 000 soldats sont victimes de ce syndrome en Grande-Bretagne. Le 12 mai dernier, une commission de membres du Parlement demandait au ministère de la Défense d’engager sans délai l’indemnisation des vétérans
britanniques.
'Les résultats de cette étude appellent à une grande enquête publique sur la maladie de la guerre du Golfe, souligne Matthew Hotopf. C’est maintenant aux politiciens de décider.'


*MAUD BUISINE

Source : www.cite-sciences.fr

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