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Hum Vaccin Immunother. 2014;10(3):659-66. Epub 2013 Nov 26.

Live attenuated hepatitis A vaccines developed in China.

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Institutes of Biomedical Sciences; Shanghai Medical College; Fudan University; Shanghai, PR China; Department of Epidemiology; School of Public Health, Fudan University; Shanghai, PR China.


Two live, attenuated hepatitis A vaccines, H 2 and LA-1 virus strains, were developed through serial passages of the viruses in cell cultures at 32 °C and 35 °C respectively. Both vaccines were safe and immunogenic, providing protection against clinical hepatitis A in 95% of the vaccinees, with a single dose by subcutaneous injection. The vaccine recipients were not protected from asymptomatic, subclinical hepatitis A virus (HAV) infection, which induced a similar antibody response as for unvaccinated subjects. A second dose caused anamnestic response and can be used for boosting. Oral immunization of human with H 2 vaccine or of marmoset with LA-1 vaccine failed, and no evidence was found for person-to-person transmission of the H 2 strain or for marmoset-to-marmoset transmission of LA-1 strain, by close contact. H 2 strain was genetically stable when passaged in marmosets, humans or cell cultures at 37 °C; 3 consecutive passages of the virus in marmosets did not cause virulence mutation. The live vaccines offer the benefits of low cost, single dose injection, long- term protection, and increased duration of immunity through subclinical infection. Improved sanitation and administration of 150 million doses of the live vaccines to children had led to a 90% reduction in the annual national incidence rate of hepatitis A in China during the 16-year period, from 1991 to 2006. Hepatitis A immunization with both live and inactivated HA vaccines was implemented in the national routine childhood immunization program in 2008 and around 92% of the 16 million annual births received the affordable live, attenuated vaccines at 18 months of age. Near elimination of the disease was achieved in China for 14 years following introduction of the H 2 live vaccine into the Expanded Immunization Program (EPI) in 1992.


China; hepatitis A; immunization; live attenuated; vaccine

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