In the fight against viral hepatitis A, vaccines save lives

1995

Challenge

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. Hepatitis A With no treatments, creating a vaccine against the hepatitis A virus could reduce incidence of the disease and save lives Hepatitis A FAQs for Health Professionals.

Advance

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  a glimpse of history.

Impact

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 Hepatitis A FAQs for Health Professionals.

Publications

NIAID’s Role in Hepatitis Research: http://www.niaid.nih.gov/topics/hepatitis/Pages/default.aspx.

SM Feinstone, AZ Kapikian, RH Purcell. (1973). Hepatitis A: detection by immune electron microscopy of a viruslike antigen associated with acute illness. Science. 182(116), 1026–8.

Daemer RJ, Feinstone SM, Gust ID, Purcell RH. (1981). Propagation of human hepatitis A virus in African green monkey kidney cell culture: primary isolation and serial passage. Infect Immun. 32(1), 388–93.

K Van Herck, P Van Damme. (2005). Prevention of hepatitis A by Havrix: a review. Expert Rev Vaccines. 4(4), 459–71.