Persistence of long-term immunity to hepatitis B among adolescents immunized at birth

Sandra S. Chaves, Gayle Fischer, Justina Groeger, Priti R. Patel, Nicola D. Thompson, Eyasu H. Teshale, Kuartei Stevenson, Victor M. Yano, Gregory L. Armstrong, Taraz Samandari, Saleem Kamili, Jan Drobeniuc, Dale J. Hu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations


The long-term duration of recombinant hepatitis B vaccine-induced immunity among persons vaccinated starting at birth is still not well understood. Waning of vaccine-induced immunity could leave young adults at risk of hepatitis B virus infection due to behavioral or occupational exposures. We followed a cohort of children immunized starting at birth with a 3-dose regimen of recombinant hepatitis B vaccine (5. mcg, 2.5. mcg, 2.5. mcg). They were challenged with a booster dose of the hepatitis B vaccine 10 and 15 years after vaccination to assess anamnestic response as a measure of persistence of protection. Among 108 participants who had lost protective antibody levels against hepatitis B, the majority (>70%) had an anamnestic response to the booster dose; response rates did not decline significantly between 10 and 15 years follow-up periods. A high antibody concentration following primary vaccination was independently associated with an anamnestic response later on in life. Nonetheless, ∼20-30% of participants were unable to mount an immune response after boosting. Hepatitis B revaccination might be required for persons vaccinated starting at birth if opportunities for hepatitis B virus exposure exist. Future vaccine recommendations should be based on studies ascertaining protection against clinically significant disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1644-1649
Number of pages6
Issue number9
StatePublished - Feb 21 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Anamnestic response
  • Hepatitis B vaccination
  • Hepatitis B virus
  • Long term immunity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • veterinary(all)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Infectious Diseases


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