Georges C. Benjamin, M.D., APHA Executive Director, will present the Executive Director Citation to Peter L. Salk, M.D. following a screening of the trailer for The Shot ‘Felt Round the World. You can follow the event on twitter at #APHA14, @PublicHealth and @APHAAnnualMtg.
Jonas Salk became an APHA Fellow in 1949, and published several seminal articles in The American Journal of Public Health, which is APHA’s house journal. In honor of today’s award, we’ll take a closer look at these publications, which span Jonas Salk’s early work on influenza with Tommy Francis as well as the development and use of the polio vaccine.
Jonas Salk’s American Journal of Public Health publications, 1944–1957
Salk’s first article in the American Journal of Public Health was published in 1944 and co-authored with Tommy Francis, Harold Pearson and Philip Brown. [PDF]
Francis et al induced infection with Influenza Type B by nasal spray. After four months, they challenged 24 subjects with reinfection and demonstrated diminished response to influenza in test subjects. This work contributed to the development of the influenza vaccine.
In 1947, Francis, Salk and Quilligan reported on the outcome of a large influenza vaccine trial undertaken at The University of Maryland.
Francis, Salk and Quilligan found no significant difference in the rate of influenza infection between vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals . They inferred that antigenic deviation between the vaccine virus and the circulating seasonal influenza virus was likely responsible for the null results. [PDF]
From 1949–1951, articles including Salk as an author assessed the importance of antigenic traits in influenza vaccination:
- 1949. Importance of Antigenic Composition of Influenza Virus Vaccine in Protecting against the Natural Disease.
In 1949, Salk was elected APHA Fellow. Starting in 1953, he began publishing articles in the American Journal of Public Health on poliomyelitis vaccination.
Salk’s 1953 article, “Principles of Immunization as Applied to
Poliomyelitis and Influenza,” discussed principles of live and inactivated vaccines for poliomyelitis, drawing on his experiences developing the influenza vaccine.
Subsequently, Salk and his colleagues published:
- 1954. Formaldehyde Treatment and Safety Testing of Experimental Poliomyelitis Vaccines.
- 1954. A Practical Means for Inducing and Maintaining Antibody Formation.
- 1955. Antigenic Activity of Poliomyelitis Vaccines Undergoing Field Test.
- 1955. Present Status of the Problem of Vaccination Against Poliomyelitis.
- 1955. Vaccination Against Paralytic Poliomyelitis Performance and Prospects.
- 1956. Poliomyelitis Vaccine in the Fall of 1955.
- 1957. Poliomyelitis Vaccination in the Fall of 1956.
This series of articles, all published in APHA’s house journal, provide an extraordinary historical overview of the development, testing and deployment of the Salk vaccine, including two articles summarizing the results of the first two years of polio vaccination.
Jonas Salk would be honored and pleased to receive today’s Executive Director Citation, which is the culmination of a long collaboration between Salk and the American Public Health Association.