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JAMA. 1988 Sep 23-30;260(12):1734-8.

Lack of response to recombinant hepatitis B vaccine in nonresponders to the plasma vaccine.

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  • 1Liver Center, Huntington Memorial Hospital, Pasadena, CA 91105.


Yeast recombinant hepatitis B vaccine was administered to 25 nonresponders to the plasma-derived hepatitis B vaccine. After three 10-micrograms doses, nine subjects (36%) produced levels of antibodies to hepatitis B surface antigen (anti-HBs) of less than 2.1 sample ratio units (SRU) (nonresponders), and five (20%) developed anti-HBs of 2.1 to 9.9 SRU (hyporesponders); anti-HBs levels of 10 SRU or greater were detected at least once in 11 vaccinees (44%), but by the sixth and 12th months after the last vaccination, only three and one of these "responders," respectively, still maintained anti-HBs values of 10 SRU or greater. In these 25 subjects HLA subtyping showed a high prevalence of DR7, B8, and the combinations of DR3 and DR7 and DR4 and DR7. Our findings indicate that the yeast recombinant hepatitis B vaccine was not effective in eliciting a sustained anti-HBs response in nonresponders to the plasma hepatitis B vaccine.

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