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Preface

The Histories of the Commissions - Contents

The Armed Forces Epidemiological Board (AFEB) and its system of commissions was conceived by necessity just before entry of the United States into World War II; it was born in 1940. Without question, the tenacity, advice, leader ship qualities, and wisdom of Drs. Simmons, Bayne-Jones, Blake, and MacLeod during the early and later stages of the AFEB's inception made the unique enterprise possible. The innovative program is a refreshing demonstration of how two entirely separate professional groups, military and academic, could crystallize perceived goals and interests and reach a common conclusion aimed at maintaining the highest standards of prevention and control of disease of military importance. This system has never been surpassed and seldom equalled. Indeed, the AFEB-commission enterprise is a model of its kind frequently used by other nations and duplicated to advantage by our own nation.

Some "first" scientific contribution of the AFEB of military and public health significance are listed below:

. Developed vaccines and use of immune serum for influenza, measles, pertussis, the viral encephalitides, poliomyelitis, pneumococcal infections, and others.

. Experimentally reproduced hepatitis and demonstrated existence of several strains and that gamma globulin will prevent hepatitis.

. Identified the transmissible agent of primary atypical pneumonia and developed live oral vaccines for adenoviruses and use of mineral oil as an adjuvant.

. Clarified the pathogenesis and method of spread of coccioidal infections.

. Demonstrated that penicillin and tetracyclines prevent rheumatic fever and that sulfadiazine prevents meningococcal infections.

. Clarified methods of controlled air-borne infections and showed that streptococci are spread by personal contact.

. Demonstrated the first specific cures for the rickettsioses and typhoid fever and active chemoprophylaxis for scrub typhus with antibiotics.

. Developed strain E attenuated epidemic typhus vaccine and use of inactivated and living vaccines for typhoid fever.

. Proved that automobile seat belts prevent serious injury and that defective door locks cause injury.

. Clarified the role of atabrine as effective chemoprophylaxis for malaria.

. Introduced tetanus-diphtheria toxoid for military use, showed that small doses of diphtheria toxoid recalls established immunity, and developed purified toxoids.

. Greatly advanced knowledge of the importance of cellular immunity, fluorescent labeling of antibodies, and importance of properdin-the forerunner of complement.

. Developed new knowledge of dengue strains, protective vaccines for dengue infections, and clarification of the dengue-shock syndrome.

. Performed classic work on plague, plague vaccines, and oral antibiotic treatment.

This second book of the Textbook of Military Medicine series describes in detail the work of eleven former commissions of the AFEB. Without the devoted persistence of former AFEB and commission members, the valuable in formation contained in these writings would have been buried in the cobwebs of time.

Too much wholehearted praise and thanks cannot be given to Bill Jordan, who prepared four commission reports (Commissions on Acute Respiratory Diseases, Meningococcal Meningitis, Air-Borne Infections, and Pneumonia); Gordon Meiklejohn (Commission on Influenza); Floyd Denny and Harold Houser (Commission on Streptococcal and Staphylococcal Infections); Paul Beaver (Commission on Parasitic Diseases); Dan Crozier (Commission on Epidemiological Survey); and Dick Hornick (Commission on Enteric Diseases).

The reader can reflect with pride on these historic accomplishments, which truly are milestone contributions of immeasurable value not only for the military services but the public.

Grateful appreciation is expressed to authorities of the Department of Army, Navy, and Air Force who made necessary resources available without which this volume could not have been printed. Jean Ward, administrative assistant of the AFEB expertly retyped edited copies of the original manuscripts. The illustration department of Walter Reed Army Institute of Research prepared the necessary photographs that effectively embellish this book. Further editorial and technical arrangements were made by the Borden Institute. Special appreciation is expressed to the following persons for their help in securing fiscal support for this book: Lieutenant General Alexander M. Sloan, USAF, MC; The Surgeon General, Captain S. William Berg, USN, MC; Major General Thomas R. Temple, USA, DC; and Colonel Frederick J. Erdtmann, USA, MC.

I feel a sense of pride and gratitude for those special persons whose contributions have ensured that these important records have reached fulfillment and are now a part of our history.

-Theodore E. Woodward, M.D.

September 1994
Baltimore, Maryland