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Transplantation. 2003 Mar 27;75(6):833-8.

Transfer of humoral and cellular hepatitis B immunity by allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation.

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1
Institute of Immunology, University Hospital, Essen, Germany.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Previous data indicate that a transfer of specific humoral and cellular immunity by way of allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) should, in principle, be possible.

METHODS:

In the HCT setting with a follow-up of up to 55 months, we studied the transfer of hepatitis B virus (HBV) specific immunity from electively immunized donors into HLA compatible recipients suffering from chronic myeloid leukemia (CML). After excluding preexisting HBV specific immunity in donor-recipient pairs, 27 prospective donors were vaccinated against HBV. In addition, on an average of 22 months postHCT, 8 of the 19 recipients were immunized once for HBV.

RESULTS:

Donor vaccination resulted in detectable hepatitis B surface (HBs) antibodies in 85% of donors and specific cellular in vitro responses in 77%. Two weeks postHCT, 86 and 67% of the recipients displayed positive humoral and cellular HBV reactions, respectively, which then decreased. Afterwards, HBV immunity reappeared in 83% of the recipients without revaccination. Following a single vaccination in recipients, seven of eight displayed a typical memory response. An HBV specific response was already detectable 1 week after vaccination, approximately 1,300-fold (humoral) and 60-fold (cellular) higher than observed in the corresponding donors after a single immunization.

CONCLUSIONS:

The "spontaneous" recurrence of HBV immunity and the memory response in recipients give evidence for an elective immune transfer (e.g., for viral antigens) by way of allogeneic HCT.

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