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Hepat Mon. 2011 Aug;11(8):634-7.

Is there need for a new hepatitıs B vaccine schedule for children with celiac disease?

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Department of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition, Istanbul Faculty of Medical Sciences, Istanbul University, Istanbul, Turkey.



Celiac disease (CD) is an autoimmune disease characterized by immunemediated inflammatory damage of the small intestinal mucosa, precipitated by the ingestion of gluten-containing foods. Since human leucocyte antigen DQ2 (HLA-DQ2) is a marker of nonresponsiveness to hepatits B virus (HBV) vaccine, CD may also be associated with this nonresponsiveness.


The aim of this study was to compare the responses to HBV vaccine between children with CD and healthy children. We also investigated the relationship between the patients' responses to hepatitis B vaccine, the clinical presentation of CD, and dietary compliance in the patients.


We recruited 52 children with CD and 20 age- and sex-matched healthy children who received HBV vaccination according to the standard immunization schedule. The production of specific antihepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) antibodies was evaluated in all patients and control participants. Subjects with less than 10 IU/L anti-HBs were consided nonresponders to the vaccination.


31 of the 52 patients (59.6%) were female and 21 (40.4%) were male. The mean age of the CD patients was 10.7 ± 4 years (range, 4-18 years). Anti-HBs titers were positive in 32 (61.5%) patients and negative in 20 (38.5%) patients, while they were positive in 18 (90%) of the children in the control group (P < 0.05). We found statistically significant differences between negative anti-HBs titers, clinical presentation of CD, and dietary compliance in patients with CD (P < 0.05).


Nonresponsiveness to hepatitis B vaccination was more frequently found in children with CD than in the control group. Therefore, the response to HBV vaccination should be investigated in children with CD, and a different immunization schedule may need to be developed. Further, compliance to the prescribed gluten-free diet (GFD) may improve the immune response to HBV vaccination in children with CD.


Celiac disease; Child; Hepatitis B vaccine


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