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September 5, 1953


Author Affiliations

Portland, Maine; Philadelphia; Bethesda, Md.
† Deceased.; From the Maine General Hospital (Drs. Porter, Shapiro, and Maltby); the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and the Department of Pediatrics, School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania (Drs. Drake, Barondess, Bashe, and Stokes); and the Laboratory of Biologics Control, National Microbiological Institute, National Institutes of Health, United States Public Health Service, Department of Health, Education, and Welfare (Drs. Oliphant, Diefenbach, Murray, and Leone). Dr. Barondess is a Research Fellow, Communicable Disease Center, and Dr. Bashe, a Research Fellow, National Institutes of Health, United States Public Health Service.

JAMA. 1953;153(1):17-19. doi:10.1001/jama.1953.02940180019006

The increasingly wide use of blood and blood products in medical practice has carried with it an increasing risk of homologous serum hepatitis (viral hepatitis B) among recipients of these materials. With the development, by Cohn and co-workers,1 of techniques for the fractionation of the plasma proteins and with the widespread clinical use of the blood fractions thus produced, the question of whether these fractions might transmit homologous serum hepatitis has become a pressing one. The gamma globulin fraction, as prepared by ethyl alcohol (ethanol) precipitation, appears to be free of the agent of homologous serum hepatitis,2 despite the fact that individual lots of gamma globulin may represent the pooled plasmas of thousands of donors.3 It would appear that, in the preparation of this fraction by ethyl alcohol, the virus is inactivated, eliminated, or neutralized.3 The albumin fraction prepared in this way has not been shown