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April 1972

Immune Serum Globulin Mass Prophylaxis of Hepatitis Due to Virus A in Epidemic Surroundings

Author Affiliations

From Ecole d'Application du Service de Santé des Armées, Val de Grâce, Paris.

Am J Dis Child. 1972;123(4):434-435. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1972.02110100166062

On the basis of Stokes and Neefe's studies we speculated that a person protected by immune serum globulin (gamma globulins) would acquire active immunity which would extend passive immunity. This hypothesis stimulated the French Military Health Services in 1958 to undertake a systematic immune serum globulin prophylaxis of 128,000 persons in Algeria. One hundred milligrams of standard immune serum globulin was given.

The resulting phenomenon was interpreted in the context of the hepatitis incidence (76,000 cases in eight years) which remained unchanged from year to year in Algeria with a curve which peaked in October to November. The appearance of a second epidemic spike in February 1959 was surprising. This affected the soldiers who had been given the injections of immune serum globulin, whereas in the others infection followed the usual seasonal pattern.

The appearance of icterus after a latent period of three months, in subjects who should have been

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