In the fight against viral hepatitis A, vaccines save lives
The hepatitis A virus causes contagious, acute inflammation of the liver. Prior to the discovery of a vaccine, an estimated 100 people died from it every year in the U.S. With no treatments, creating a vaccine against the hepatitis A virus could reduce incidence of the disease and save lives .
IRP researchers Robert Purcell, M.D., Albert Kapikian, M.D., Stephen Feinstone, M.D., and colleagues played a crucial role in developing the first licensed hepatitis A vaccine, from initial identification and characterization of the virus to the clinical trials that demonstrated protective efficacy .
The discovery and development of hepatitis A vaccines were landmark moments for public health, providing nearly 100 percent of adults with protective levels of antibodies, and contributing to the decline of hepatitis A rates in the U.S. by 92 percent since 1995 .
NIAID’s Role in Hepatitis Research: http://www.niaid.nih.gov/topics/hepatitis/Pages/default.aspx.
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