Thanks for humoring me, Bob-
The antibody is a never seen before immunoglobulin g autoantibody.
This story gives me so much hope...it is an controlled, verifiable situation. There is a proven breech of the blood/brain barrier by an outside substance, creating an autoimmune response that resembles MS. Here's some more from an interview with Dr. Lachance of the Mayo clinic. He is overseeing the investigation.
http://www.medpagetoday.com/MeetingCove ... ng/tb/9147
"The working hypothesis is that the workers are exposed to brain tissue in the air," Dr. Lachance said.
When public health authorities first reached this conclusion, in early December, plant officials halted the brain-extraction procedure.
No new cases have developed since then. However, additional cases have been identified as workers have come forward to report long-standing symptoms. The most recent of these was confirmed on April 3, Dr. Lachance said.
He said the outbreak and subsequent investigation have implications beyond occupational safety in pork processing centers.
"The principles may be able to be applied to autoimmunity and autoimmune neurological illnesses. There are several syndromes that are hypothesized to be a result of autoimmunity, yet in most cases we really don't know the trigger," he said.
Identification of such a trigger could be a breakthrough in the basic biology of neurological autoimmunity, and this case could lead to that identification, he suggested.
"We may have the opportunity to understand how an antigen can be presented and how the body's immune system can react to produce disease."
Dr. Lachance said laboratory studies had found that all the workers carried a never-before-seen immunoglobulin G autoantibody. The researchers do not yet know how it arises.