Advertisement

Spotlight Series on Hepatitis C

Feature

A Timeline on Hepatitis C Virus Discovery

April 30, 2015

Thanks to recent developments in hepatitis C (HCV) treatment, HCV can now be cured quickly and safely, with some courses of treatment taking only six weeks.

While we celebrate this achievement, let's also take a moment to look back at how HCV arose in the first place. Here is a timeline on the discovery of hepatitis C, adapted from a presentation given by Charles M. Rice, at CROI 2015 in Seattle, Washington.

1600-1800s
Hepatitis is seen as a malady of people during wars, mainly as outbreaks of jaundice.

Advertisement
1919
Theiler's disease: Arnold Theiler, a prominent veterinarian, notices that horses are experiencing hepatitis after being vaccinated for African horse sickness (using immune serum and live virus).

1930s
Outbreaks of hepatitis occur in humans after vaccination against yellow fever and efforts to vaccinate against Western equine encephalomyelitis virus (using attenuated virus and human serum).

1938
A study paper published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society of Medicine recognizes the link between hepatitis and certain vaccinations containing homologous serum.

1940s
Two types of hepatitis are recognized: "infectious" (hepatitis A virus, HAV) and "serum" (hepatitis B virus, HBV). These are, again, associated with vaccination against yellow fever.

1965
Baruch Blumberg discovers hepatitis B antigen in patient blood. Blumberg would later win the Nobel Prize for his work in the discovery of hepatitis B.

1970
The first visualization of HBV particles is seen using electron microscopy.

1973
Stephen Feinstone, M.D., Albert Kapikian, M.D., and Robert Purcell, M.D., discover hepatitis A particles using electron microscopy.

Early-to-Mid 1970s
Harvey Alter, M.D., notices non-A, non-B hepatitis (NANBH) in about 10% of transfusion patients. The NANBH often results in persistent hepatitis and liver cirrhosis.

Mid 1970s
The mysterious NANBH is transmitted to chimpanzees.

1977
Mario Rizzetto, M.D., and collaborating researchers discover hepatitis D, which they initially link to HBV.

1989
Qui-Lim Choo, Ph.D., George Kuo, Ph.D., Daniel Bradley, Ph.D., and Michael Houghton, Ph.D., win the race by isolating and discovering hepatitis C virus (HCV), using virus concentrated from pooled chimpanzee serum.

1990s
Vaccinations for HAV and HBV are developed. No vaccination for HCV is discovered, but treatment development ramps up.

Warren Tong is the senior science editor for TheBody.com and TheBodyPRO.com.

Follow Warren on Twitter: @WarrenAtTheBody.


Copyright © 2015 Remedy Health Media, LLC. All rights reserved.




This article was provided by TheBodyPRO.com.

No comments have been made.
 

Add Your Comment:
(Please note: Your name and comment will be public, and may even show up in
Internet search results. Be careful when providing personal information! Before
adding your comment, please read TheBody.com's Comment Policy.)

Your Name:


Your Location:

(ex: San Francisco, CA)

Your Comment:

Characters remaining:

Advertisement

The content on this page is free of advertiser influence and was produced by our editorial team. See our content and advertising policies.