, Volume 57, Issue 4, pp 1039-1044
Date: 07 Dec 2011

Patients with Inflammatory Bowel Disease Have a Lower Response Rate to HBV Vaccination Compared to Controls

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Hepatitis B (HBV) is a vaccine-preventable infection that may cause severe infections, particularly in patients who are being treated with immunosuppressive therapy [(i.e., inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)]. Limited data are available about IBD patients’ response rate to HBV vaccine.


To assess the efficacy of HBV vaccine in IBD patients and healthy controls.


Serological markers of HBV were assessed in IBD patients, and HBV vaccine was administered to seronegative patients. The subsequent determination of anti-HBs antibody was recorded. An adequate immune response (AIR) and an effective immune response (EIR) to HBV were defined as more than 10 and 100 mIU/ml, respectively. The single dose vaccine was administered at 0, 1 and 6 months.


A total of 102 patients with IBD (39 Crohn’s disease, 63 ulcerative colitis; 54 female, 48 male) and 52 (25 female, 27 male) healthy controls were included. Mean age for patients and controls were 38 ± 12 and 31 ± 8, respectively (P < 0.001). Both AIR and EIR were significantly lower in patients than in controls (P < 0.001), but they were similar between patients with CD and UC (P = 0.302). Forty-four (43%) patients were on immunosuppressive therapy before vaccination. After vaccination, 76 and 53% of the patients had AIRs and EIRs, respectively, whereas 100 and 87% of the controls had AIRs and EIRs, respectively (P < 0.001 and P < 0.001, respectively).


The response rate of IBD patients receiving HBV vaccinations were significantly lower compared to controls. The response rate of those receiving immunosuppressive therapy and with active disease was much too low. Vaccination should be given during remission and at immunosuppression-free times.