The Australia antigen and role of the late Philadelphia general hospital in reducing post-transfusion hepatitis and sequelae


  • John R. Senior M.D.,

    Corresponding author
    1. Office of Surveillance and Epidemiology Center for Drug Evaluation and Research Food and Drug Administration Silver Spring, MD
    • Associate Director for Science, Office of Surveillance and Epidemiology, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, Food and Drug Adinistration,10903 New Hampshire Avenue, Silver Spring, MD 20993-0002
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    • fax: 301-796-9832

  • W. Thomas London M.D.,

    1. Institutional Review Board Fox Chase Cancer Center, Philadelphia, PA
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  • Alton I. Sutnick M.D.

    1. Department of Medicine Drexel University College of Medicine Philadelphia, PA
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  • Potential conflict of interest: Dr. London owns stock in Merck.

  • The views expressed are not necessarily those of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.


Baruch Blumberg, who received the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine for his discovery of the Australia antigen, died on April 5, 2011. Arguably, that discovery has been the most important advance in the field of Hepatology. It led to the virtual elimination of transfusion related hepatitis B in most parts of the world and was essential to the identification of hepatitis A, C, D and E viruses. Credit for this is due Dr. Blumberg and teams in Philadelphia and Tokyo. In lieu of an Associate Editor commentary, Drs. Senior, London, and Sutnick, who were members of that remarkable team, tell us their inspiring story. (HEPATOLOGY 2011;)