Sex disparity in response to hepatitis B vaccine related to the age of vaccination

Andrea Trevisan, Alessandro Giuliani, Maria Luisa Scapellato, Simona Anticoli, Rita Carsetti, Salvatore Zaffina, Rita Brugaletta, Nicoletta Vonesch, Paola Tomao, Anna Ruggieri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection is one of the major infectious hazards for health-care workers (HCWs) because of the frequency of percutaneous exposures to blood or body fluids. For this reason, all HCWs should be vaccinated, including students in medicine and health professional degree programs. The aim of this study was to assess the immune coverage to anti-HBV vaccine and long-lasting protective titres of anti-HBs antibodies in female and male students to evaluate gender-related differences in response to HBV vaccination. Data relative to anti-HBs antibody titre, sex, age, and age at vaccination were collected and analyzed from 5291 Italian students (1812 males and 3479 females) of the graduate courses at the School of Medicine, who underwent the mandatory health surveillance of workers exposed to biological risk. The results indicated that gender affects the immune response to HBV vaccine, particularly evident in the case of females vaccinated after one year of age who exhibited a statistically significant (p = 0.0023) 1.21-fold increase in median antibody titre with respect to males. Our findings could contribute to the optimization of HBV vaccination schedules in health surveillance of HCWs.

Original languageEnglish
Article number327
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2020


  • Gender
  • HBs-antibodies
  • Health care workers
  • Hepatitis B
  • Sex
  • Vaccine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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