Autoimmune/inflammatory syndrome induced by adjuvants, also known as Shoenfeld’s syndrome or ASIA, is a hypothesised autoimmune disorder proposed by Israeli immunologist Yehuda Shoenfeld in 2011. According to Shoenfeld, the syndrome includes four conditions: “post-vaccination symptoms,” macrophagic myofasciitis, Gulf war syndrome, sick building syndrome, and siliconosis. Shoenfeld alleges that the syndrome is caused by adjuvants such as silicone, tetramethylpentadecane, pristane, and aluminum. However, causality is difficult to prove because ASIA only occurs in a small fraction of patients exposed to these adjuvants. Additionally, proponents of this theory allege that the disorder can manifest anywhere from 2 days to 23 years after exposure. Shoenfeld has also named Sjögren’s syndrome as potentially being another facet of ASIA. In 2013, the authors of a textbook on autoimmune diseases concluded that “there exists persuasive evidence for ASIA,” but noted that several academic and governmental agencies had dismissed the possibility of a link between silicone and autoimmune disease.
However, apart from the theoretical concept of ASIA, there is a lack of reproducible evidence for any causal relationship between adjuvant and autoimmune condition. A study of 18,000 people showed that there is no merit to the theory of autoimmune/inflammatory syndrome induced by adjuvants.
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