The Hepatitis—Infectious Mononucleosis (HIM) Test: A Clinical Evaluation

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DETECTION of carriers of serum hepatitis among blood donors is perhaps the most serious difficulty in the blood bank program. To date it has been an unsolved problem, there being no specific test to detect a viremia or other effect of the presence of the virus. To develop such a test, the causative agent of hepatitis not only should be known, but should be available.

Infectious hepatitis and serum hepatitis are viral in origin, but information about this virus (or viruses) has been difficult to obtain, largely because of the lack of susceptible laboratory animals and suitable media for propagation of the agent in vitro. Thus, from several isolations of viral agents1–3 associated with infectious hepatitis no practical laboratory applications have resulted. Therefore, the reports4–8 of the isolation of a virus associated with viral hepatitis and infectious mononucleosis, of the propagation of this agent in tissue culture, and of the development of a practical serologic test for the detection of antibodies to this agent are of great importance.

In 1961, Bolin and associates4 inoculated five human volunteers with serum from the icterogenic plasma pool number six of the National Institutes of Health. In all five of the volunteers serum hepatitis subsequently developed, and a viral agent was isolated from the blood of each during the course of his illness. Viruses were also isolated from the feces of patients with infectious hepatitis,4 and from an autopsy specimen of the liver of a patient who had died from infectious mononucleosis.



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