, Volume 38, Issue 4, pp 269-273,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.
Date: 29 May 2010

Immunogenicity of recombinant hepatitis B vaccine: comparison of two different vaccination schedules

Abstract

Background

Neonatal immunization with hepatitis B (HB) vaccine induces protective levels of antibody (anti-HBs ≥10 IU/L) in a majority of vaccines. However, the duration of protection after HB vaccination in infants is unknown. A smaller proportion of children vaccinated beginning at birth with three doses of HB vaccine were found to have protective titers 5–10 years after initial vaccination. Long-term efficacy of HB vaccine depends mainly on peak antibody levels after vaccination, and subjects were observed to have lower levels of antibodies if they received the first dose of vaccine immediately after birth. The aim of our study was to compare the immunogenicity of two different HB vaccine schedules in infants born to HB surface antigen-negative mothers.

Methods

Anti-HBs titers in infants vaccinated with two different schedules were compared. Infants were vaccinated at 0, 2, and 9 months (group 1) or at 2, 4, and 9 months (group 2). In total, 267 blood samples were analyzed at a mean of 14.20 ± 2.39 months after the third vaccine dose. Sera were tested for hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg), hepatitis B surface antibody (anti-HBs), and hepatitis B core antibody (anti-HBc) using commercial enzyme immunoassay kits.

Results

The geometric mean titers for anti-HBs were 95.00 and 379.51 IU/L and the rates of anti-HBs more than ≥100 IU/L were 57.7 and 94.9% in group 1 and 2 infants, respectively.

Conclusion

Delaying the first dose of the HB vaccine until 2 months after birth produces a higher immune response and can provide longer term protection.