Clinical and biochemical data collected during the Holy Cross College football team hepatitis A outbreak in 1969 suggested that 32 team members had icteric hepatitis, 58 had anicteric illness, and only seven were not infected. Using a currently available radioimmunoassay, we tested stored serum samples obtained during the outbreak for IgM antibody to hepatitis A virus (IgM anti-HAV). Only individuals with icteric hepatitis were found to have IgM anti-HAV in serum; those with presumed anicteric illness were shown not to be infected with hepatitis A virus. The attack rate was thus only 34%, not 93% as originally reported, and the incidence of icteric illness in those infected was 100%, not 33%. This serological analysis of a classic outbreak of hepatitis A illustrates the utility and importance of IgM anti-HAV testing in seroepidemiologic investigations of hepatitis outbreaks.
Friedman LS, O'Brien TF, Morse LJ, et al. Revisiting the Holy Cross Football Team Hepatitis Outbreak (1969) by Serological Analysis. JAMA. 1985;254(6):774–776. doi:10.1001/jama.1985.03360060076029
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