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Vaccine. 2000 Jan 18;18(13):1161-5.

Increasing the number of hepatitis B vaccine injections augments anti-HBs response rate in HIV-infected patients. Effects on HIV-1 viral load.

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  • 1CISIH, Clinique Médicale A, Hôpitaux Universitaires, Strasbourg, France.


Preventing hepatitis B by vaccination is essential in HIV-infected patients (higher progression rate of HBV infection to chronicity, lower rate of serum HBe Ag loss). However, it has been shown a decreased anti-HBs response in these individuals after a standard vaccination (3 doses of 20 micrograms). Thus, we tested the hypothesis that doubling the number of hepatitis B vaccine injections might increase anti-HBs response rate. HIV-infected patients with CD4 > 200/microliter, who were on stable antiretroviral treatment, as well as seronegative for HBV markers, and who have never been vaccinated against HBV, were given 3 intramuscular injections of Genhevac B 20 micrograms at 1 month intervals. Initial non responders were given 3 additional monthly injections. Anti-HBs titer was followed. We also evaluated the effects on HIV-1 viral load. Twenty patients with a median CD4 cell count of 470/microliter were enrolled. The response rate after three 20 micrograms injections was 55% (11/20), lower in individuals with CD4 between 200 and 500/microliter (4/12 = 33.3%), compared to patients with CD4 above 500/microliter (7/8 = 87.5%, P = 0.02). Among 9 initial non-responders, only 2 did not respond to 3 additional doses; thus, the overall response rate was 90% (18/20). Geometric mean titers of anti-HBs were 133 IU/l and 77.5 IU/l, after 3 and 6 Genhevac doses, respectively (P = 0.38). One year later, only 10/17 (58.8%) patients had protective anti-HBs. Five patients experienced a significant viral load increase, transient in 3 cases. These preliminary results suggest that doubling the number of hepatitis B vaccinations in HIV-infected patients might significantly improve anti-HBs response rate; however, close monitoring of anti-HBs is necessary because of its short-lived persistence. The effects on HIV-1 viral load are limited.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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