Short-term studies indicate that hepatitis B vaccines are safe and satisfactory immunogenic in hemophiliacs. The duration of immunity in these immunocompromised patients, however, is not known. To determine this, we studied 78 hemophiliacs prospectively 2,3 and 4 years after the initial vaccination with a plasma-derived vaccine given as three monthly injections followed by a fourth booster injection at month 14. The duration of immunity clearly depended on whether the patients were infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). In HIV seronegative hemophiliacs (n = 67), there was a progressive decline in titers of antibody to the hepatitis B surface antigen (anti-HBs), but antibody was still detectable 4 years later in all of them. From the curves of decline of antibody titers, it appears that there is no need to revaccinate patients for at least 5 to 6 years. The HIV seropositive hemophiliacs (n = 11) not only started from much lower anti-HBs titers, but 5 of 11 lost anti-HBs. None of the 45 patients treated with concentrates during the postvaccination period developed serologic signs of hepatitis B, even though 6 of them had come into contact with live or inactivated hepatitis B virus as shown by the occurrence of spontaneous anamnestic antibody responses. This vaccine and schedule of vaccination afford a prolonged duration of immunity in HIV seronegative hemophiliacs, but HIV seropositive hemophiliacs have a risk of losing immunity early.
|Number of pages||5|
|Journal||Archives of Internal Medicine|
|Publication status||Published - 1989|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Internal Medicine