Timeline of key events related to hepatitis B

Clinicians at Grady Hospital in Atlanta reported seven cases developed 1–4 months after receivbing transfusion of whole blood or plasma. P Beeson, 'Jaundice occurring one to four months after transfusion of blood or plasma', JAMA, 121 (1943), 1332-35. Clinicians working at large Army hospital identified 103 patients who developed hepatitis after receiving blood transfusions. EB Grossman, S Stewart, JJ Stokes, 'Post-transfusion hepatitis in battle casualties', JAMA, 129 (1945), 991-94.1943-01-01T00:00:00+0000MOH, 'Homologous serum jaundice: memorandum prepared by medical officers of the Ministry of Health', Lancet, 241 (1943), 83-88. 1943-01-01T00:00:00+0000J. Beattie, J. Marshall, ' Aetiology of post-arsphenamine jaundice', BMJ, 1/4346 (1944), 547-50.1944-01-01T00:00:00+0000Researchers showed the agent survived being heated to 56 degrees celsius for 30 mins and being chlorinated. It also survived in frozen samples for more than a year. They also showed it could be transmitted by feeding or inoculation of fecal extracts, blood or urine taken from symptomatic patients. FO MacCallum, DW Bradley, 'Transmission of infective hepatitis to human volunteers', Lancet, 2 (1944), 228; WP Havens, 'Properties of the etiologic agent of infectious hepatitis', Proc Soc Exp Biol Med, 58 (1945), 203-04; GM Findlay, RR Willcox, 'Infective hepatitis; transmission by faeces and urine', Lancet, 2 (6378) (1945), 594-97. 1944-01-01T00:00:00+0000OD Ratnoff, A Patek, 'Natural history of Laennec's cirrhosis of liver', Medicine, 21 (1942), 207-68.1944-01-01T00:00:00+0000Serum taken from a soldier who had developed hepatitis 14 weeks after receiving arsenical therapy was inoculated into 10 volunteers, 7 of whom became jaundiced 42-70 days later. FO MacCallum, DW Bradley, 'Transmission of infective hepatitis to human volunteers', Lancet, 2 (1944), 228. 1945-01-01T00:00:00+0000This was established as a result of an experiment with volunteers. Serum taken from a soldier who developed jaundice during 14th weeks of arsenical therapy was inoculated into 10 volunteers, 7 of whom became jaundiced 42-70 days later, of which three died. Volunteers who were administered nasopharyngeal washings from those affected did not contract the disease, confirming serum to be the source of the infection. F.O. MacCallum, 'Transmission of arsenotherapyjaundice by blood,' Lancet, 1 (1945), 342.1945-01-01T00:00:00+0000EB Grossman, S Stewart, JJ Stokes, 'Post-transfusion hepatitis in battle casualties', JAMA, 129/15 (1945), 991-94.1945-12-08T00:00:00+000050,000 US Army personal were hospitalised after receiving contaminated batches of yellow fever vaccine. The epidemic affected 300,000 American troops. G. Freeman, 'Epidemiology and incubation period of jaundice following yellow fever vaccination', American Journal Tropical Medicine & Hygiene, s26/1 (1946), 15-32.1946-01-01T00:00:00+0000Anon, 'Transfusion jaundice', BMJ, 225 (1946), 423-24,1946-01-01T00:00:00+0000Stool specimens taken from patient during the active illness found to be highly infectious, but less so in patients incubating or recovering from the disease. WP Havens Jr, 'Period of infectivity of patients with experimentally induced infectious hepatitis', J Exp Med, 83 (1946), 251-58; T Francis Jr, AW Frisch, JJ Quilligan Jr, 'Demonstration of infectious hepatitis virus in presymptomatic period after transfer by transfusion', Proc Soc Exp Biol Med, 61 (1946), 276-80.1946-01-01T00:00:00+0000JR Neefe, SS Gellis, J Stokes Jr, 'Homologous serum hepatitis and infectious (epidemic) hepatitis; studies in volunteers bearing on immunological and other characteristics of the etiological agents', Am J Med, 1 (1946), 3-22.1946-01-01T00:00:00+0000F O MacCallum, Paper to the International Congress of Physicians, 1947; Anon, 'Homologous serum hepatitis', Lancet. 2 (1947), 691-92.1947-01-01T00:00:00+0000WHO, Technical Report Series, No. 62 (1953)1953-01-01T00:00:00+0000JR Neefe, et al., 'Carriers of hepatitis virus in the blood and viral hepatitis in whole blood recipients. I. Studies on donors suspected as carriers of hepatitis virus and as sources of post-transfusion viral hepatitis', JAMA, 154/13 (1954), 1066-71; R Murray, et al., 'Carriers of hepatitis virus in the blood and viral hepatitis in whole blood recipients. II. Confirmation of carrier state by transmission experiments in volunteers', JAMA, 154/13 (1954), 1072-741954-01-01T00:00:00+0000J Stokes Jr., et al, 'The carrier state in viral hepatitis', JAMA, 154/13 (1954), 1059-65.1954-01-01T00:00:00+0000Using starch gel electrophoresis, Blumberg tested the serum samples against blood taken from haemophiliacs who had received multiple transfusions, looking for antibody-antigen reactions. Blumberg did the work with the help of W Thomas Dublin. 1957-01-01T00:00:00+00001957-01-01T00:00:00+0000Blumberg found the antigen after observing an unusual cross reaction between the two samples of blood. 1964-01-01T00:00:00+0000WHO Technical Report Series, No. 285 (1964).1964-01-01T00:00:00+0000
Date Event People Places Sciences
1943 - 1945Jaundice linked to blood transfusionBeeson, Grossmanb, Stewart, Stokes  
1943British Ministry of Health introduced the term 'homologous serum jaundice' to decribe jaundice following innoculation with blood products   
1944Jaundice outbreak among syphilitic patients linked to inoculation with salvarsan with an 'infective agent'Marshall, Beattie  
1944 - 1945Infectious hepatitis shown to be caused by a filterable agent in fecal matter and blood, and to be resistant to heat and chlorineMacCallum, Bradley, Havens, Findlay, WilcoxMRC Jaundice Committee, Yale University 
1944Cirrhosis found in several deceased patients with no history of alcoholic liver disease who had recovered from jaundiceRatnoff, PatekColumbia University, Welfare Hospital 
1945Serum shown to be source of hepatitis infection MacCallum, Bradley  
1945First evidence that jaundice caused by infectious agent in bloodMacCallum  
8 Dec 1945Gamma-globulin observed to help patients who developed hepatitis after receiving blood transfusionsGrossman, Stewart, Stokes  
January 1946Largest outbreak of serum hepatitis recorded following yellow vaccine campaign  Vaccines, Infectious diseases
1946British Medical Journal editorial advises against use of blood products because of risk of jaundice   
1946Infectious hepatitis found to have incubation period of 20-30 daysHavens, Francis, Frisch, Quilligan  
1946Evidence emerged that infectious hepatitis caused by more than one causative agentNeefe, Gellis, Stokes  
1947'Infectious hepatitis' renamed hepatitis A, and 'serum hepatitis' renamed hepatitis BMacCallum Infectious diseases
1953WHO Expert Committee published report epidemic and serum hepatitis   
1954Chronic viral carriers identified in human volunteer studiesKeefe, Norris, Reinhold, Mitchell, Howell, Roderick MurrayUniversity of Pennsylvania, National Institutes of Health 
1954Researchers estimated 0.2-0.5% US population carry hepatitis B virus in their bloodStokesTemple University, Albert Einstein Medical Center, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia 
1957 - 1964Baruch Blumberg launched study of variation in serum proteins in blood samples from different populations to understand individual disease susceptibilityBlumberg, DublinFox Chase Cancer Center 
1957Maurice Hilleman started researching hepatitisHillemanWalter Reed Army Medical Center 
1964Blumberg discovered unusual protein in serum from New York haemophliac patient and an AborigineBlumbergFox Chase Cancer Center 
1964WHO issued second report on hepatitis   

1943 - 1945

Jaundice linked to blood transfusion

1943

British Ministry of Health introduced the term 'homologous serum jaundice' to decribe jaundice following innoculation with blood products

1944

Jaundice outbreak among syphilitic patients linked to inoculation with salvarsan with an 'infective agent'

1944 - 1945

Infectious hepatitis shown to be caused by a filterable agent in fecal matter and blood, and to be resistant to heat and chlorine

1944

Cirrhosis found in several deceased patients with no history of alcoholic liver disease who had recovered from jaundice

1945

Serum shown to be source of hepatitis infection

1945

First evidence that jaundice caused by infectious agent in blood

8 Dec 1945

Gamma-globulin observed to help patients who developed hepatitis after receiving blood transfusions

Jan 1946

Largest outbreak of serum hepatitis recorded following yellow vaccine campaign

1946

British Medical Journal editorial advises against use of blood products because of risk of jaundice

1946

Infectious hepatitis found to have incubation period of 20-30 days

1946

Evidence emerged that infectious hepatitis caused by more than one causative agent

1947

'Infectious hepatitis' renamed hepatitis A, and 'serum hepatitis' renamed hepatitis B

1953

WHO Expert Committee published report epidemic and serum hepatitis

1954

Chronic viral carriers identified in human volunteer studies

1954

Researchers estimated 0.2-0.5% US population carry hepatitis B virus in their blood

1957 - 1964

Baruch Blumberg launched study of variation in serum proteins in blood samples from different populations to understand individual disease susceptibility

1957

Maurice Hilleman started researching hepatitis

1964

Blumberg discovered unusual protein in serum from New York haemophliac patient and an Aborigine

1964

WHO issued second report on hepatitis

Respond to or comment on this page on our feeds on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.