The Latest News from Laub BioChem    Sep/Oct 2011 | Issue 2


Dr. Richard J. Laub


In This Issue:
Contagion - Can It Happen Here?
Microbe of the Month: Influenza
Our 16th Anniversary!

Quick Links:

Useful Links:

Wikipedia: Humic Acid

Meet Us in Las Vegas!

SupplySide West - Oct. 12-13
Sands Convention Center (next to The Venetian Hotel)--we're in Booth No. 18098 
Contagion - Can It Happen Here?


The acclaimed Warner Bros. movie Contagion (directed by Steven Soderbergh) follows the rapid progress of a lethal airborne virus that kills within days. As the fast-moving influenza-like epidemic grows, the worldwide medical community races to find a cure while controlling the panic that spreads faster than the virus itself.


Has It ALREADY Happened Here?


As recounted in a Harvard University Library narrative (1), the Spanish influenza H1N1 pandemic of 1918-1919 caught every nation by surprise. It infected an estimated 500 million people worldwide and killed 50 to 100 million in three waves.


The "Spanish flu" differed from previous influenza pandemics in its unprecedented virulence. Its unique characteristics included unusually high case fatality, especially among otherwise-healthy 20- to 40-year-olds. Allies fighting in World War I designated the pandemic the "Spanish" flu because Spain's uncensored press was the first to report freely on its widespread distribution. Elsewhere in Europe governments feared that such newspaper reports would undermine public morale.


Epidemiological studies indicate that the pandemic began in the US at a crowded army camp in Fort Riley, Kansas. Subsequently, the transport of hundreds of thousands of infected troops in close physical contact between camps caused the influenza to spread quickly even before troops assembled in East Coast ports en route to France. The troops brought the influenza to the trenches of the opposing armies and to other parts of Europe and beyond.


The overall response to the mild first wave of the influenza epidemic in the US was relatively subdued compared with the second and third more deadly waves. The second wave struck lethally in September 1918 at a naval facility in Boston and at the Camp Devens military base in Massachusetts. Nationwide, October 1918 was the most deadly month, when 195,000 Americans died. The supply of health care workers, morticians, and gravediggers dwindled, and mass graves were often dug to bury the dead. Among the survivors was Amelia Earhart. The third wave of the pandemic, between late 1918 and March 1919, spread unevenly in the US and in parts of Europe, but with similar intensity as the second.


Read more about the occurrence of real contagion throughout human history:


(1) Harvard University Library Online Collections Program: Contagion


(2)  Wikipedia: 1918 Spanish Flu


(3)  J. M. Barry, The Great Influenza; New York: Penguin Books, 2005.


(4)  D. H. Crawford, The Invisible Enemy: A Natural History of Viruses; Oxford, England: Oxford University Press, 2002.


(5)  R. Preston, The Hot Zone; New York: Anchor Books, 1994.


(6)  I. Redlener, Americans at Risk; New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2006.


(7)  L. Garrett, The Coming Plague; New York: Penguin Books, 1995.

Microbe of the Month: Influenza


From CDC: The Basics


There are two main types of influenza (flu) virus: A and B. These viruses are responsible for seasonal flu epidemics each year.


Influenza A viruses are divided into subtypes based on two proteins on their surface: hemagglutinin (H) and neuraminidase (N). There are 16 different hemagglutinin subtypes and 9 different neuraminidase subtypes. Influenza A viruses can be further broken down into different strains. Current subtypes found in people are influenza A (H1N1) and influenza A (H3N2).


In the spring of 2009 a new influenza A (H1N1) virus emerged. This virus was very different from regular human influenza A (H1N1), and it caused the first influenza pandemic in more than 40 years. The virus was originally referred to as "swine flu" because laboratory testing showed that many of its genes were very similar to influenza viruses that normally occur in pigs (swine) in North America. But further study has shown that this new virus is very different from what normally circulates in North American pigs. It has two genes from flu viruses that normally circulate in pigs in Europe and Asia as well as bird (avian) and human genes. Scientists call this a "quadruple reassortant" virus. The virus is now referred to as "2009 H1N1" and has mostly replaced the H1N1 virus that was previously circulating in humans.


Influenza B viruses are not divided into subtypes, but can be further broken down into different strains.


Influenza type C causes a mild respiratory illness and is not thought to cause epidemics.


How Flu Viruses Mutate


Influenza viruses can mutate into new strains in two different ways-antigenic drift and antigenic shift.


"Antigenic drift" refers to small changes in the virus that happen continually over time. Antigenic drift produces new virus strains that may not be recognized by the body's immune system.  As a result, antibodies against older strains no longer recognize the "newer" virus, and reinfection can occur. This is one of the main reasons why people can get the flu more than once.


"Antigenic shift" refers to an abrupt, major change in the influenza A virus that produces new hemagglutinin and/or new hemagglutinin and neuraminidase surface proteins. Such changes produce a new influenza A subtype virus that is so different from the previous subtype that most people do not have immunity to it. Such a "shift" occurred in the spring of 2009, and caused the pandemic of that year.


While influenza viruses are changing by antigenic drift all the time, antigenic shift happens only occasionally. Type A viruses undergo both kinds of changes; influenza type B viruses change only by the more gradual process of antigenic drift.


Transmission of Influenza from Animals to People


Influenza A viruses are found in many different animals, including ducks, chickens, pigs, whales, horses and seals. Influenza B viruses circulate widely only among humans.


Wild birds are the primary natural reservoir for all subtypes of influenza A viruses, and are thought to be the source of influenza A in all other animals as well. Most influenza viruses cause asymptomatic or mild infection in birds; however, the range of symptoms varies greatly depending on the strain of virus. Infection with certain avian influenza A viruses (for example, some strains of H5 and H7 viruses) can cause widespread disease and death among some species of wild and especially domestic birds such as chickens and turkeys.


While it is unusual for people to get influenza infections directly from animals, sporadic human infections and outbreaks caused by certain avian influenza A viruses have been reported.


Pigs can be infected with both human and avian influenza viruses in addition to swine influenza viruses. Infected pigs exhibit symptoms similar to humans, such as coughing, fever and runny nose. Because pigs are susceptible to avian, human and swine influenza viruses, they may potentially be infected with influenza viruses from different species (e.g., ducks and humans) at the same time. If this happens, it is possible for the genes of these viruses to mix and create a new virus. For example, if a pig were infected with a human influenza virus and an avian influenza virus at the same time, the viruses could mix (reassort) and produce a new virus that had most of the genes from the human virus, but a hemagglutinin and/or neuraminidase from the avian virus as well. The resulting new virus would have surface proteins not previously seen in human influenza viruses. If this new virus were transmitted easily from person to person an influenza pandemic could result, as has occurred throughout the history of human health.

Our 16th Anniversary!


Laub BioChemicals Corporation was incorporated in September 1995 to surround and nurture synthetic as well as natural-product humic acids-materials that demonstrate potent anti-viral activity. By the middle of January 1996 the Corporate lab and office had been assembled at 1401 Quail St., Suite 121, in Newport Beach, CA. The facility was finished by about mid-March, and was fully functional as a working research facility by mid-June. 


The Corporate R&D space actually accommodates two areas: the first is a warehouse, where substantial quantities of raw as well as finished products are held in inventory.  Distributors' orders are filled immediately, unlike other companies that have delivery times of 4-6 weeks. (Large orders are drop-shipped direct.) The laboratory houses a substantial range of equipment with which research is caried out on existing products for ongoing applications; on developing newly-emerging product-lines for applications not heretofore approached; and for in-house quality control.


The Company completed its scientific research and development of natural-product humic acid in 2003: sourcing, processing, and testing were all sufficiently established to bring humic acid for human consumption to market the following year. Today, Laub BioChem's VFI Humic Acid� is found in products carried worldwide by its network of national and international Distributors.


The Company's patents positions were completed in 2010; and currently cover processes, compositions, and applications in the U.S., Australia, Canada, Europe, Israel, Japan, Mexico, Taiwan, and Thailand. The Intellectual Property portfolio also holds six Registered Trademarks covering Laub BioChem logos and phrases used to characterize its products.


Exhibiting at the Natural Products Expo West (now Engredia) and SupplySide West trade shows-reaching out directly to national as well as international audiences-has been carried out annually since 2008. Activities such as these have brought the Company new commercial outlets as well as rapid expansion of existing venues-including retail stores, the Internet, and multilevel marketing.


Today Laub BioChem leads the industry in the research, development, and production of humic acid. Sixteen years of research. Fifteen patents worldwide. Extensive independent-laboratory in vitro and in vivo clinical studies and trials establishing safety and efficacy. No other company compares. Period.


Laub BioChem.  Your source for the World's Premium Grade VFI Humic Acid.  



 Dr. Richard J. Laub

 Laub BioChemicals Corp.