Virology: Toward a Hepatitis Vaccine

The liver disease known as hepatitis is a stubborn and increasingly common ailment. Infectious hepatitis, usually contracted from contaminated food or water, affected an estimated 100,000 people last year. The more virulent se rum hepatitis, which is transmitted by contaminated blood transfusions and in adequately sterilized hypodermic needles, affected 5,000. At least 1,000 died from the two forms. Unable to identify the guilty virus, doctors could neither prevent the disease nor offer effective treatment. But now, as a result of a complex bit of medical detective work, researchers have isolated what...

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