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HAV genes. (Clinical Capsules).

The recent identification of two genes that give the hepatitis A virus (HAV) its virulence has implications for the development of new, more convenient vaccines against the virus.

The need for such vaccines is on the rise because sanitation in some developing countries is improving, and that means the naturally acquired immunity now prevalent in those countries will diminish, according to a press report from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

Use of the currently available killed vaccine, which requires multiple boosters, is not feasible in developing countries. Now, with the identification of the genes associated with HAV virulence, there is hope that a better vaccine can be created.

Efforts to develop a live, attenuated vaccine have thus far been disappointing: Once researchers at the NIAID identified the genes and created a vaccine designed to weaken it, experiments in monkeys revealed that the virus mutated, and infectious particles in feces from the monkeys were capable of causing hepatitis in other monkeys.
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Title Annotation:hepatitis A virus
Author:Worcester, Sharon
Publication:Internal Medicine News
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Sep 15, 2002
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