I had to read the following headline, posted on Medical News Today, a number of times.
Sheep disease toxin shines a light on multiple sclerosis.
Hold on. Sheep disease?
"In a recent study", the article tells us, "those with multiple sclerosis were found to be more likely to harbor antibodies for a disease toxin normally found in sheep."
Sheep? I don't know that I've ever even seen an actual sheep. I don't know, maybe a long time ago at a county fair or something. And I do remember being with my friend at night out on a country road when his old Dodge broke down and somewhere out in the darkness we could hear sheep 'Baa-ing"--and I can tell you, at night, in a strange place, with no light whatsoever, it is a rather creepy, ghostly sort of noise. But did some toxin from the invisible sheep creep up through the darkness to our old broken down Dodge and infect me with a toxin?
The toxin is called ETX and is produced by the bacterium Clostridium perfringens, found in the gut of livestock--mostly commonly sheep. ETX crosses the gut wall and builds up in the kidneys and brain. Once in the brain, it destroys both the myelin that coats nerves and the cells that produce myelin.
No human vaccine for this toxin has ever been developed. Will the development and administration of such a vaccine prevent the development of MS? Who knows?
In the meantime, watch out for the sheep.