Misleading Posts and The Crohn’s MAP Vaccine

The Crohn’s Mystery has NOT BEEN SOLVED

Over the last few weeks I’ve seen several posts about the Crohn’s MAP Vaccine go viral. It has been reposted by the Crohn’s and Colitis Canada Facebook page as well as many other sites around the world. It went viral so quickly that several friends with no connection to Crohn’s sent me a link to an article claiming that the Crohn’s Mystery is Finally Solved  (This link and website has been removed and shutdown as of 8/5/17! I would like to think they read this post and decided to remove the article!)

This misleading title leaves me frustrated and angry. This is one of many other titles misleading the general public who is uneducated about what Crohn’s Disease is, leading them into thinking that a simple vaccine or going dairy free will cure all symptoms. I do not blame the ignorance of the public but blame the websites/blogs for misleading readers for the sake of gathering extra views.

This post was from a website but not a credible website. This title was completely false, misleading and clickbait to bring the reader to their website. The website posted their source for the article was from a blog which is not a credible source for scientific information to base the original post on. Yes, FlaredupFitness is a blog/website but I do not gather my information from other blogs or questionable sources. I do the research myself from scientifically reviewed sources or credible websites.

The MAP Vaccine

I have been following the MAP bacteria research for a few years. Mycobacterium Avium subspecies Paratuberculosis (MAP) is a bacteria found in a majority of dairy cows transferring the bacteria to humans through milk from an infected cow. A 2013 study claims that over 70% of American dairy herds are infected with the MAP bacteria (Lombard et al. 2013).

The MAP bacteria is responsible for Johne’s Disease in cattle and other animals. Johne’s Disease is a contagious and chronic infection that affects the small intestine of the animal which is very similar to Crohn’s Disease in humans. One UK study suggested that approximately 7% of all milk contains the MAP bacteria which is not killed off by pasteurization (Millar et al. 1996) which is then consumed transferring the MAP bacteria to humans.

The connection between MAP and Crohn’s is the extremely high prevalence rate of the MAP bacteria present in people with Crohn’s Disease. According to a highly cited paper out of the UK, 92% of patients with Crohn’s Disease test positive for the MAP bacteria (Bull et al. 2003) which can cause dysregulation of the immune system allowing for other bacteria and viruses to penetrate the gut wall causing large inflammation responses which could be a possible cause of Crohn’s Disease in humans.

Crohnsmapvaccine.com is a website dedicated to fund research towards developing a cure for Crohn’s by removing the MAP bacteria in humans. They have developed a vaccine which is currently in preliminary stages. It has proven to be safe and effective for animals and is currently in the process of starting a human trial stage.

Could a vaccine elminate the need for biologic medication such as Humira?

My Personal Opinion

With a science undergraduate degree, I have read my share of articles, review articles, scientific documents, lab reports etc. One of the most important things I have learned in my undergrad was to analyze, identify biases and critique scientific literature.

I am skeptical yet optimistic about the whole MAP hypothesis and vaccine. I looked into their research and most of it seems promising and credible. If proven as a cause of Crohn’s, MAP may only be one of many causes of the disease and may not be able to help all Crohn’s patients. The hereditary component of Crohn’s Disease has not been currently proven, but there is evidence to suggest that Crohn’s has a genetic predisposition in some patients (Patel. 2016). Direct family members are at an increased risk of developing Crohn’s Disease as well as high prevalence rates among specific ethnic groups also suggest genetics play a role in development of the disease (Kurata et al. 1992). Depending on which etiological factors an individual with Crohn’s has, the MAP vaccine may not help everyone suffering from Crohn’s.

My other thought is even if the vaccine is successful and can cure symptoms, the vaccine will not reverse previously damaged areas or heal scarred areas of the intestinal tract still requiring surgery.

Concluding Thoughts

I am unsure what to think about this upcoming field of research. On one hand, I want nothing more than for the MAP bacteria to be proven as a cause of Crohn’s Disease in humans and on the other hand, additional research needs to be done to obtain a better understanding of the etiological factors of Crohn’s Disease. The Crohn’s Disease mystery has not been solved, not even close. Even the Crohn’s MAP website issued a statement saying they do not approve of the sensationalist headlines made by health websites as research is still in preliminary stages and no conclusion about the vaccine has been made.

Regardless of the result, this research gives everyone hope and a reason to continue fighting. I think this is all very exciting as this could be one of the biggest advancements to date towards finding a cure and getting some answers to the cause of this debilitating disease. Stay tuned for more updates as the human trials for the MAP vaccine progresses.


Bull TJ, Mcminn EJ, Sidi-Boumedine K, Skull A, Durkin D, Neild P, Rhodes G, Pickup R, Hermon-Taylor J. 2003. Detection and Verification of Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis in Fresh Ileocolonic Mucosal Biopsy Specimens from Individuals with and without Crohn’s Disease. Journal of Clinical Microbiology 41:2915–2923.

Kurata JH, Kantor-Fish S, Frankl H, Godby P, Vadheim CM. 1992. Crohns disease among ethnic groups in a large health maintenance organization. Gastroenterology 102:1940–1948.

Lombard J, Gardner I, Jafarzadeh S, Fossler C, Harris B, Capsel R, Wagner B, Johnson W. 2013. Herd-level prevalence of Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis infection in United States dairy herds in 2007. Preventive Veterinary Medicine 108:234–238.

Millar J, Ford J, Sanderson J, Withey S, Tizard M, Doran T, Hermon-Taylor J. 1996. IS900 PCR to detect Mycobacterium paratuberculosis in retail supplies of whole pasteurized cows’ milk in England and Wales. Applied Environmental Microbiology. Sep; 62(9): 3446–3452

Patel A. 2016. Faculty of 1000 evaluation for Inherited determinants of Crohns disease and ulcerative colitis phenotypes: a genetic association study. F1000 – Post-publication peer review of the biomedical literature.

10 thoughts on “Misleading Posts and The Crohn’s MAP Vaccine

  1. Crohns disease is a two sided coin. One side has the immune deficiency (hereditry) and the other side being the MAP infection stemming from the immune deficiency. The Vaccine will work if it stimulates that part of the deficient immune system. This is simple medical science and standard for how vaccine and or immunizations work. The battle does not lie there though as people have already healed themselves of crohns disease followed antibiotic maintenence. Notice how the only support and exploration of a cure is coming from England and not the states and how none of the pharms providing revenue ensured treatment are having nothing to do with any doctors anywhere finding a cure. I.e it is going to be very hard to get the vaccine into Canada and the US once the trials are finished. Before you post opinions like this it is better to inform yourself and get professional advice or opinions on the medical science aspect. I would advise yourself to go back now and re-explore the Crohn’s MAP vaccine as many updates from the seminars have been added. You will many more doctors from the US and abroad are now invovled and have their trials and patient work also.This could help you better understand the disease. And lastly you must realize the treatment companies definately want to put doubt in your understanding of the disease. If you realized where the battle is you won’t post such an opinion as it does not only hurt and hinder you but it affects all crohn’s patients in Canada. When the vaccine is released its going to be an uphill battle to get it here in CAnadarko simply because most doctors in gastroenterology are schooled on autoimmunity which is not real and which has allowed the disease to prevail as it simply does not exist. Also the big Pharms will make sure Canadians cannot get the vaccine either because of treatment revenues. In summary. Do your homework and become part of the present solution and as a crohas patient don’t be used to aid their regression of the illness. If you would ever like to find out the people who no Longer have symptoms but must take antibiotics or if you would like to discuse the progressive side of the solution please feel free to email me. I can connect you with some of the doctors who can better help you understand the illness.


    1. Hi Paul, I’m in Canada and would just LOVE to find a doctor who’s on board with the MAP hypothesis. Do you know of anyone in SW Ontario? Is there an unofficial database among CD people somewhere? Thanks!


  2. Hi Paul,

    I appreciate the response. When I wrote this post in August of 2016, I compiled all the information that was accessible to me at that time and this was the conclusion I came to. This is a blog and my opinion on the MAP vaccine just like you have your own opinion.

    I think you are missing the point here. I am not against the MAP vaccine, in fact, I am all for it. I just see some false claims coming from many discreditable websites claiming the MAP vaccine is the be all, end all cure for Crohn’s. I did not say the MAP vaccine will not work and did not say it does not have the potential to help many Crohn’s patients. I said it will not work for everyone. Taking the hereditary component into consideration, Crohn’s patients who develop the disease without any evidence of bacteria present will not benefit from the vaccine.

    Like I said, I did my homework and this is the conclusion I came to. I am well educated in my disease and am always looking to learn more from credible sources, not from anonymous posters on my blog. I would be interested in discussing this further, you can email me at FlaredupFitness@gmail.com as you did not leave your email.


  3. https://humanpara.org

    You can find the newest research in relation to MAP and it’s association/causal role in the link above and better yet speak with and listen to the researchers directly. Some of the best info stems from the recent 2017 Conference. Even more so, the large scale RedHill Biopharma triple antibiotic (RHB-104) interim results will be out shortly. This is when the game will start to change and many of us suffering from this shitty disease (no pun intended) might start to see a light at the end of the tunnel. I know three people who’s lives seem to have been changed (positive manner) by the use of the triple antibiotics therapy developed by Thomas Borody.

    In regards to the Map vaccine – there was time when you could reach out to Professor Herman-Tailor directly via telephone or email in relation to the vaccine and his other related research. There are no false claims. Will it end Crohn’s disease? Probably not. Will it assist and perhaps allow many to achieve/maintain remission. Most likely, provided the human trials which they have started go well. First up is the healthy controls test to make sure there are no side effects which began a short while ago. So they have made some significant strides thanks solely to all the Crohn’s Patients out there that took a chance and contributed to the cause .


  4. Professor Hermon-Taylor has developed a new ground breaking companion blood test to the vaccine. The blood test is accurate, it isolates MAP and can be seen under a microscope in 10 minutes. Previous to this doctors had to use a hap-hazard culture method (takes about 4 weeks to get results). I was lucky enough to be one of the patients to trial this new blood test (I have CD) and it showed my white blood cells were 15% infected with MAP. So far 100% of CD patients have tested positive for MAP. The 92% figure you quote was using the old testing method.


  5. I am glad this board is active in the discussion and thinking critically about whether or not MAP can trigger disease. To further the conversation, I want add that MAP has been associated with Type 1 Diabetes (T1D) and CD in Sardinia, Italy. Sardinia is particular in terms of the incidence of infection with Mycobacterium avium paratuberculosis. Coincidentally, they also have one of the HIGHEST rates of Crohn’s, Colitis and T1D. It’s a freaking epidemic over there. But, it’s problem that can be solved. Yet, more people need to be aware that MAP is in the food supply and it causes disease.



    Liked by 1 person

  6. Interesting article and comments! I recently wrote a post which included recommending to get tested for MAP. I’ve had Crohn’s Disease for 7 years and recently had a bowel resection. Following that I had a blood test for MAP which came back negative. I’ve been offered a free repeat test in a few months time. I’m not sure if it’s the answer for everyone as you mention but great to see the research and trials progressing!


  7. Ashley – there is no actual MAP blood test available. You might have given a blood sample which was subsequently cultured (takes about a month) and MAP is grown. MAP is notoriously difficult to culture and gives many false negatives. A few years ago I was MAP tested by a lab in USA. I shipped a blood sample to the lab and a month or so later it came back negative. Prof Hermon Taylor has developed an actual blood test (not yet commercially available) which tests the blood for MAP presence (not inconsistent culture method) and takes just 10 minutes. I was lucky enough to be invited by Prof Hermon Taylor to test his new blood test (about a year after the blood culture test) and it showed that my white blood cells were around 15% MAP infected. This is quite a high number. I gather that so far all CD patients tested with this new blood test have resulted positive for MAP.


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