Volume 88, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



Lassa fever is an acute and sometimes severe viral hemorrhagic illness endemic in West Africa. One important question regarding Lassa fever is the duration of immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibody after infection. We were able to locate three persons who worked in Nigeria dating back to the 1940s, two of whom were integrally involved in the early outbreaks and investigations of Lassa fever in the late 1960s, including the person from whom Lassa virus was first isolated. Two persons had high titers of Lassa virus-specific IgG antibody over 40 years after infection, indicating the potential for long-term duration of these antibodies. One person was likely infected in 1952, 17 years before the first recognized outbreak. We briefly recount the fascinating stories of these three pioneers and their important contribution to our understanding of Lassa fever.


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  • Received : 01 Aug 2012
  • Accepted : 11 Nov 2012
  • Published online : 06 Feb 2013

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