Immunogenicity of a yeast-recombinant hepatitis B vaccine in high-risk children

R. G. Rumi, R. Romeo, M. Bortolini, A. Gringeri, A. R. Zanetti, P. M. Mannucci, M. Colombo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Horizontal transmission of hepatitis B virus (HBV) from illicit drug users to their contacts, including young children, can be prevented by active immunization against HBV. Yeast-recombinant hepatitis B vaccines are now available for this purpose, but their potential efficacy in such high-risk contacts has not yet been evaluated. Therefore we gave 20 mcg of a recombinant yeast-derived hepatitis B vaccine to 38 children who were at high risk for HBV infection because they had been institutionalized in a community for drug users in which 8.7% of the occupants are carriers. After third dose of vaccine (at 0, 1, and 6 months), all children had anti-HBs responses with titers of 10 mlU/ml or more, with 81% showing responses greater than 1,000 mlU/ml. At 12 months, the percentage of anti-HBs-positive children was 100%, and the percentage of children with anti-HBs higher than 1,000 mlU/ml was 56%. None of the children developed HBV infection during follow-up. Hence the recombinant vaccine was immunogenic, with percentages of seroconversion and anti-HBs titers comparable with those attained in other categories of high-risk children with plasma-derived vaccines.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)48-51
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Medical Virology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1989

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Virology


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