Recent AS research is showing specific genes that are involved and that “It is looking more like AS is not an autoimmune disease, but really an unusual response to infection. These genes working together probably impair the immune system’s ability to rid the body of some of these bacteria or their products" according to a researcher working with the support of the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS), a part of the Department of Health and Human Services’ National Institutes of Health. Drs. Arnett & Reveille were involved with the research.
So the argument is causation and/or aggravation. Military service put you at risk. Live vaccines such as smallpox and anthrax may have done it.
I didn't get the anthrax shot but certainly got the live smallpox virus in Basic and a squad member actually came down with smallpox (touched the injection site when advised not to) and had to be hospitalized for smallpox when smallpox is eradicated according to the World Health Organization. Smallpox only exists in biowarfare labs. I got 6 typhoid shots as well but no knowing whether that was a live virus it just made everyone I know sick within days of taking the shots.
I served from 1987 - 1991 (US Army) but was never deployed to the Gulf. I wasn't diagnosed with AS until 1999 but I had been complaining to VA doctors about back & neck problems, headaches, chronic fatigue since 1994 and they said I must be psychotic since I was otherwise healthy (other than elevated ALT levels since I had an infection in Basic that had me hospitalized for 2 weeks).
Non service connected veteran of US Army
Ankylosing Spondylitis with peripheral disease activity, rotational scoliosis, chronic recurrent uveitis, anemia, insulin dependent diabetes, IBS, recurrent leukocytoclastic vasculitis; allergy to sulfa drugs