Follow-up of 1942 Epidemic of Post-Vaccination Hepatitis in the U.S.
N Engl J Med 1987 Apr 16;316(16):965-970
A serologic follow-up of the 1942 epidemic of post-vaccination hepatitis
in the United States Army.
Seeff LB, Beebe GW, Hoofnagle JH , Norman JE, Buskell-Bales Z, Waggoner
Kaplowitz N, Koff RS, Petrini JL Jr, Schiff ER, et al
An epidemic of icteric hepatitis in 1942 affected approximately 50,000
U.S. Army personnel.This outbreak was linked to specific lots of yellow-fever vaccine
stabilized with human serum.
To identify the responsible virus and the consequences of the epidemic,
during 1985 we interviewed and serologically screened 597 veterans who
had been in the army in 1942 .
These subjects were selected from three groups.
Group I consisted of patients who had received the implicated vaccine
and had jaundice;
Group II had received the implicated vaccine but remained well;
Group III had received a new, serum-free vaccine, with no subsequent
Ninety-seven percent of Group I,
76 percent of Group II, and
13 percent of Group III
were positive for antibodies to hepatitis B virus.
Only one subject had hepatitis B surface antigen, for a carrier rate of
0.26 percent among recipients of the implicated vaccine.
The prevalence of hepatitis A antibody was similar in all three groups,
and no subject had antibody to hepatitis delta virus.
We conclude that hepatitis B caused the outbreak, that about 330,000
persons may have been infected, that the hepatitis B virus carrier state
was a rare consequence, and that the outbreak induced hepatitis B
appear to persist for life.
PMID: 2436048, UI: 87172914
1977 Seeff- Discovery of Hepatitis C