Born: December 5, 1916
Died: April 11, 2013
Hilary Koprowski developed the first oral polio vaccine in 1950 when he fed, on February 27, an attenuated Type II strain oral polio vaccine to a child. There were no side effects following vaccination and the child developed antibodies against polio. Within a year, he attenuated Type I and III of poliovirus and made them into vaccines which were tested for immunization of children in the United States. The first demonstration of mass vaccination by oral route was carried out in the then Belgian Congo (today Democratic Republic of Congo) where 250,000 children and infants were immunized with Koprowski’s oral polio vaccine within six weeks in 1958. His work furthered the search for a "live" vaccine at a time when the idea of an inactivated vaccine was favored.
Brief Biography: Hilary Koprowski, who was born in Poland, is a graduate of the Faculty of Medicine at Warsaw University. He also received degrees from the Warsaw Conservatory and the Santa Cecilia Conservatory of Music in Rome. He obtained his MD degree in Warsaw. He worked with a team at Lederle Laboratories early in his career. Later, he became director of the Wistar Institute of Anatomy and Biology in Philadelphia, a position he filled until 1991. In the '90s, Koprowski vigorously defended the Wistar Institute against the accusation that its oral polio vaccine used for immunizations in the Congo was the source of the HIV virus. (See Letter by Koprowski to Science, vol. 257, 21 August 1992, pp. 1024, 1026-1027; corrections, 11 September 1992, p. 1463.)
2005 BioTech Nation audio interview with Dr. Koprowski.
In March of 2010, Polio Place asked Dr. Koprowski to review his entry. He responded with “The first oral polio vaccine was developed by Hilary Koprowski, M.D. in 1950 when he fed, on February 27, an attenuated Type II strain oral polio vaccine to a child. There were no side effects following vaccination and the child developed antibodies against polio. Shortly thereafter, 19 more children were fed the same vaccine and developed antibodies against polio. Within a year, Dr. Koprowski attenuated Type I and III of poliovirus and made them into vaccines which were tested for immunization of children in the United States. Following immunization of several hundred children by Koprowski’s oral polio vaccine between 1952 and 1958, the government of the then Belgian Congo (today Democratic Republic of Congo) requested the immunization of 250,000 infants and young children in a region of Congo where they feared a polio epidemic. 250,000 children and infants were immunized with Koprowski’s oral polio vaccine within 6 weeks in 1958. This was the first demonstration of mass vaccination by oral route as a powerful weapon in a given area. As a result of the development of the oral polio vaccine, global eradication of paralytic poliomyelitis was planned by the World Health Organization. The last paralytic case of poliomyelitis in the Western Hemisphere was recorded in 1991 in Peru and it is hoped that in the year 2000 (50th anniversary of the development of oral polio vaccine) there will be a global eradication of polio.”
Location of papers: Dr. Koprowski was the Director of the Institute of Biotechnology and Advanced Molecular Medicine and the Center for Neurovirology at Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia.
Articles found at HighWire Press® Stanford University. (*Asterisk denotes article is free of subscription fee.)
Immune Responses In Human Volunteers Upon Oral Administration Of A Rodent-Adapted Strain Of Poliomyelitis Virus. Hilary Koprowski, Geobge A. Jervis, And Thomas W. Norton. Am. J. Epidemiol., Jan 1952; 55: 108 - 126.
Preparation Of Poliovirus Vaccines In A Human Fetal Diploid Cell Strain. Leonard Hayflick, Stanley A. Plotkin, Thomas W. Norton, And Hilary Koprowski. Am. J. Epidemiol., Mar 1962; 75: 240 - 258.
Strategies For The Development Of Vaccines Against Viruses In The Htlv Family: Unconventional Vaccines: Immunization with Anti-Idiotype Antibody against Viral Diseases.* H. Koprowski. Cancer Res., Sep 1985; 45: 4689s - 4690s.
Immunization of Humans with A Chick Embryo Adapted Strain of Mef1 Poliomyelitis Virus. M. Roca-Garcia, H. Koprowski, G. A. Jervis, T. W. Norton, T. L. Nelson, and H. R. Cox J. Immunol., Aug 1956; 77: 123 - 131.
Persistence Of Neutralizing Antibodies In Human Subjects Three Years After Oral Administration Of A Rodent-Adapted Strain Of Poliomyelitis Virus. Hilary Koprowski, George A. Jervis, And Thomas W. Norton. Pediatrics, Mar 1954; 13: 203 - 205.
Clinical Trials In Infants Of Orally Administered Attenuated Poliomyelitis Viruses. Stanley Alan Plotkin, Hilary Koprowski, and Joseph Stokes, Jr. Pediatrics, Jun 1959; 23: 1041 - 1062.
The Response Of Premature Infants To Infection With Attenuated Poliovirus. Joseph S. Pagano, Stanley A. Plotkin, Donald Cornely, Walter Leuterer, and Hilary Koprowski. Pediatrics, May 1962; 29: 794 - 807.
AIDS and the Polio Vaccine. Hilary Koprowski. Science, Aug 1992; 257: 1024 - 1027. Responding to The River. Stanley A. Plotkin and Hilary Koprowski. Science, Dec 1999; 286: 2449.
Search for the Origin of HIV and AIDS. Edward Hooper;, B. Korber, T. Bhattacharya, J. Theiler, R. Gupta, A. Lapedes, B. Hahn, F. Gao, M. Muldoon, S. Wolinsky, Stanley A. Plotkin, and Hilary Koprowski. Science, Aug 2000; 289: 1140.
Articles found at JSTOR
Mass-Scale Immunization with Live Polio Vaccine and the Prospects for Poliomyelitis Eradication in the USSR. M. P. Chumakov; M. K. Voroshilova; S. G. Dzagurov; V. A. Lashkevich; L. L. Mironova; N. M. Ralph; K. M. Sinyak; E. N. Bartoshevich; K. A. Vasilyeva; A. V. Gagarina; V. P. Grachev; V. I. Zhevandrova; G. P. Taranova; G. A. Koroleva; P. A. Kukain; I. A. Robinzon; A. V. Tyufanov; L. B. Elbert BioScience > Vol. 14, No. 12 (Dec., 1964), pp. 48-52.
Sticking a Needle into Science: The Case of Polio Vaccines and the Origin of AIDS. Brian Martin Social Studies of Science > Vol. 26, No. 2, Special Issue on 'The Politics of SSK: Neutrality, Commitment and beyond' (May, 1996), pp. 245-276 Stable URL: http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=0306-3127%28199605%2926%3A2%3C245%3ASAN...
Reviewed Work(s): Poliomyelitis. Author(s) of Review: Paul F. Wehrle. The Quarterly Review of Biology > Vol. 32, No. 2 (Jun., 1957), p. 204.
From the Wikipedia®
Origins of AIDS: Contaminated Polio Vaccine Theory Refuted. Worobey M, Santiago ML, Keele BF, Ndjango JB, Joy JB, Labama BL, Dhed'A BD, Rambaut A, Sharp PM, Shaw GM, Hahn BH (2004).Nature 428 (6985): 820. PubMed Hilary Koprowski (1992). "AIDS and the polio vaccine". Science 257 (5073): 1024, 1026-7. PubMed.
From the Thomas Jefferson University© Web Page (1990s-1980s publications, many rabies-related.)
My response to "polio vaccines and the origin of AIDS." [letter; comment]. Koprowski H. Research In Virology. 146(3): 233-4, May 1995. Effect of neurotropic virus infection on neuronal and inducible nitric oxide synthase activity in rat brain. Akaike T;Weihe E;Schaefer M;Fu Z F;Zheng Y M;Vogel W;Schmidt H;Koprowski H;Dietzschold B.Journal of Neurovirology. 1(1): 118-25, Mar 1995.
Articles from WorldCat™
First decade (1950#82111960) of studies and trials with the polio vaccine. Hilary Koprowski Biologicals : journal of the International Association of Biological Standardization. 34, no. 2, (2006): 81 Publisher: London ; San Diego : Academic Press, c1990- Located in 367 libraries.
Vaccines. Stanley A Plotkin; Edward A Mortimer Philadelphia: W.B. Saunders Co., ©1994. Located at 469 libraries.
Immunology and virology--a 25 year retrospective : proceedings of the silver jubilee symposium sponsored by the Wistar Institute in honor of Hilary Koprowski, M.D., Director. Carlo Croce; David Kritchevsky; Hilary Koprowski; Wistar Institute of Anatomy and Biology. New York: Liss, ©1982.
Poliomyelitis. Robert Debré. Geneva, World Health Organization, 1955.
2005 BioTech Nation audio interview with Dr. Koprowski.
Key word suggestions for additional publication searches: poliomyelitis, rabies, immunology, virology, oral vaccine, plant-derived cancer vaccine.