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January 9, 1954


JAMA. 1954;154(2):146-147. doi:10.1001/jama.1954.02940360044014

Homologous serum jaundice is not a new disease, for it was first recognized nearly 70 years ago by Lurman,1 who produced jaundice in 191 of 1,293 persons vaccinated against smallpox, by the use of human lymph stored in glycerine and derived from smallpox vesicles. A second batch of material similarly prepared did not produce jaundice. Between 1937 and 1939 there appeared in the English literature reports of several outbreaks of latent jaundice following the administration of pooled hyperimmune human serum prepared for the control of certain viral diseases. At least one of these outbreaks was serious.2 The Ministry of Health stated that the hyperimmune serum had been refrigerated.3 Since hyperimmune serum was not always accompanied by a reduction in attack rate of the disease for which it was administered, it was not widely used and the problem did not grow to large magnitude until World War II,

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