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August 2, 1976

Nonhuman Primate-Associated Viral Hepatitis Type A: Serologic Evidence of Hepatitis A Virus Infection

Author Affiliations

From the Laboratory of Infectious Diseases, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Md (Drs Dienstag and Purcell); the Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (Drs Davenport and Hennessy); and the departments of epidemiology and public health (Dr McCollum) and medicine (Dr Klatskin), Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Conn.

JAMA. 1976;236(5):462-464. doi:10.1001/jama.1976.03270050018021

Since 1961, viral hepatitis has been recognized as an occupational hazard among handlers of newly imported chimpanzees and other nonhuman primates. To determine whether previously reported cases were caused by human viral hepatitis type A, we tested paired serum samples from two outbreaks for antibody to hepatitis A antigen (anti-HA) by immune adherence hemagglutination (IAHA), a recently available test. In both outbreaks, one of hepatitis transmitted from chimpanzee to man (Michigan, 1964), the second from chimpanzee to chimpanzee, man, and woolly monkey (Connecticut, 1971), serologic data documented recent hepatitis A virus infection among contacts—human and nonhuman primate—of implicated chimpanzees. This confirms serologically a previously noted epidemiologic association between nonhuman primate-associated hepatitis and human viral hepatitis, type A.

(JAMA 236:462-464, 1976)