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Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2004 Oct;2(10):941-5.

18-year follow-up study of a prospective randomized trial of hepatitis B vaccinations without booster doses in children.

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Department of Medicine, Queen Mary Hospital, University of Hong Kong, China.



The long-term immunogenicity and efficacy of hepatitis B virus (HBV) vaccination remain to be defined. We aimed to examine the long-term immunogenicity and efficacy of HBV vaccination with 3 different regimens over 18 years of follow-up.


A total of 318 Chinese subjects receiving 3 different regimens of HBV vaccination (2-dose recombinant vs. 3-dose recombinant vs. 3-dose plasma-derived vaccines) without receiving a booster dose were recruited. The HBV serologic markers, including hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg), antibody to hepatitis B surface antigen (anti-HBs), and antibody to hepatitis B core antigen (anti-HBc), were determined at yearly follow-up. After 18 years, 88 subjects were still being followed up.


Compared with subjects receiving the 2-dose regimen, subjects receiving the 3 dose regimens had a significantly higher geometric mean titer of anti-HBs and a higher proportion had anti-HBs titers > or =10 mIU/mL during the 18 years of follow-up. There were no differences in these 2 parameters between subjects receiving the 3-dose recombinant and subjects receiving the 3-dose plasma-derived vaccines. A total of 88 anamnestic responses were documented in 70 subjects (8 with initial anti-HBs titers <100 mIU/mL at 12 months and 7 with anti-HBs titers <10 mIU/mL before the anamnestic responses). No subject became positive for HBsAg. Three subjects had benign breakthrough HBV infection without leading to chronicity indicated by isolated anti-HBc positivity.


There was less long-term immunogenicity associated with the 2-dose regimen when compared with the 3-dose regimens of HBV vaccination. Because of the highly effective anamnestic responses, a booster dose was not necessary at least up to 18 years after the primary vaccination.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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