Foreign DNA found in teenager's blood

02:55, Aug 09 2012
Rhonda Renata
Rhonda Renata, whose daughter died, giving evidence at an inquest.

Fragments of foreign DNA found in Upper Hutt teenager Jasmine Renata’s blood and spleen after her death could have caused a fatal shock reaction, an American pathologist has told her inquest.

Her parents, Joe and Rhonda Renata, believe her death was a result of her having three injections of Gardasil, the vaccine for cervical cancer in 2008 and 2009.

Jasmine, 18, was found dead in her bed in September 2009 six months after her last injection.

Her mother yesterday outlined Jasmine’s declining health and said after her daughter’s death she became concerned about the vaccine and began research.

Dr San Hang Lee a pathologist at Milford Hospital in Connecticut gave evidence on the second day of the inquest by videolink.

He had been sent Jasmine’s post mortem blood and found her blood and spleen were positive for the human papillomavirus, or HPV.

The Gardasil vaccine is given to prevent some strains of HPV.

He said it was not the result of a natural HPV infection, most likely the DNA was bound to aluminium which was also found in Jasmine.

“The HPV gene is foreign DNA and its detection six months after injection is not normal,’’ he told the inquest.

He said the DNA may cause a reaction that could lead to lethal shock although it was not known if it caused her death but it needed further investigation.

He said it was not known if it was the cause of death but it needed further investigation.

Dr Lee said he also tested five samples of the vaccine sent from New Zealand and found HPV in each.

The inquest is also expected to hear from Professor Christopher Shaw from the University of British Columbia in Canada who examined Jasmine’s brain tissue.


Jasmine Renata
Jasmine Renata, 18, was found dead in her bed in September 2009.

The Dominion Post