Epidemic jaundice, although known by armies since ancient times, became a concern of the U.S. military only after outbreaks occurred during World War II. Early work by military investigators defined, for the first time, the existence of two different forms of hepatitis. Subsequently, investigators described the effective prevention of symptomatic hepatitis using immune serum globulin. Military researchers contributed to the isolation of and testing for the virus of infectious hepatitis, work that was then instrumental in the designing and fielding of a hepatitis A vaccine. Hepatitis B contributions included the elaboration of community-based epidemiology and description of the efficacy of immune serum globulin prophylaxis. Most recently, studies on hepatitis E defined the epidemiology, performed genomic sequencing, and developed a DNA vaccine currently being tested against the disease. Major research contributions to the understanding of and protection against viral hepatitis have been made by the military medical establishment over the past 60 years.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health