The events leading to the recognition of serum hepatitis (“homologous serum jaundice”) as a disease entity are described and reasons given why seroprophylaxis against measles played an important role in this discovery. The injection of human serum as a prophylactic was practised on an increasing scale from about 1920 to about 1950, by which time it had largely been superseded by immunoglobulin (gamma globulin). Apart from the transfusion of blood and blood products the other major human to human transfer of material was vaccination against yellow fever in the years 1937 - 1940. The consequences of this large scale interchange between human subjects included the dissemination of serum hepatitis virus, and the possibility of transfer of other viruses is discussed.
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Zeitschrift für Naturforschung B is an international scientific journal which publishes original papers, microreviews, and letters from all areas of inorganic chemistry, solid state chemistry, coordination chemistry, molecular chemistry, and organic chemistry.