Excellent Response Rate to a Double Dose of the Combined Hepatitis A and B Vaccine in Previous Nonresponders to Hepatitis B Vaccine

Cardell, Kristina; Åkerlind, Britt; Sällberg, Matti; Frydén, Aril
August 2008
Journal of Infectious Diseases;8/1/2008, Vol. 198 Issue 3, p299
Academic Journal
Background. Hepatitis B vaccine has been shown to be highly efficient in preventing hepatitis B. However, 5%-10% of individuals fail to develop protective levels (⩾10 mIU/mL) of antibodies to hepatitis B surface antigen (anti-HBs) and are considered to be nonresponders. Methods. A total of 48 nonresponders and 20 subjects naive to the HBV vaccine received a double dose of combined hepatitis A and B vaccine (Twinrix) at 0, 1, and 6 months. The levels of anti-HBs and antibodies to hepatitis A virus (anti-HAV) were determined before vaccination and 1 month after each dose. Results. Among 44 nonresponders, protective anti-HBs levels were found in 26 (59%) after the first dose and in 42 (95%) after the third dose. Among the control subjects, the corresponding figures were 10% and 100%, respectively. All subjects seroconverted to anti-HAV. The titers of both anti-HBs and anti-HAV were lower in the previously nonresponsive subjects (P < .01). Conclusion. Revaccination of nonresponders to the standard hepatitis B vaccine regimen with a double dose of the combined hepatitis A and B vaccine was highly effective. This is most likely explained by the increased dose, a positive bystander effect conferred by the hepatitis A vaccine, or both.


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