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Clin Infect Dis. 2000 Sep;31(3):663-70. Epub 2000 Oct 4.

Adult adenovirus infections: loss of orphaned vaccines precipitates military respiratory disease epidemics. For the Adenovirus Surveillance Group.

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Department of Defense Center for Deployment Health Research, Naval Health Research Center, San Diego, CA 92186-5122, USA. Gray@nhrc.


Adenovirus vaccines have greatly reduced military respiratory disease morbidity since the 1970s. However, in 1995, for economic reasons, the sole manufacturer of these vaccines ceased production. A population-based adenovirus surveillance was established among trainees with acute respiratory illness at 4 US military training centers as the last stores of vaccines were depleted. From October 1996 to June 1998, 1814 (53.1%) of 3413 throat cultures for symptomatic trainees (78% men) yielded adenovirus. Adenovirus types 4, 7, 3, and 21 accounted for 57%, 25%, 9%, and 7% of the isolates, respectively. Unvaccinated trainees were much more likely than vaccinated trainees to be positive for types 4 or 7 (odds ratio [OR] = 28.1; 95% CI, 20.2-39.2). Two training centers experienced epidemics of respiratory disease affecting thousands of trainees when vaccines were not available. Until a new manufacturer is identified, the loss of orphaned adenovirus vaccines will result in thousands of additional preventable adenovirus infections.

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