Journal Article

Increases in Levels of Antibody to Hepatitis B Surface Antigen in an Immunized Population

Lisa R. Bulkow, Robert B. Wainwright, Brian J. McMahon and Alan J. Parkinson

in Clinical Infectious Diseases

Published on behalf of Infectious Diseases Society of America

Volume 26, issue 4, pages 933-937
Published in print April 1998 | ISSN: 1058-4838
Published online April 1998 | e-ISSN: 1537-6591 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/513939
Increases in Levels of Antibody to Hepatitis B Surface Antigen in an Immunized Population

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Hepatitis B vaccine is effective in preventing infection with hepatitis B virus (HBV), but its duration of protection is unknown. To examine the effect of exposure to HBV on an immunized population, data were analyzed from a cohort of Alaska Natives who were immunized and then followed up annually for 10 years. A boost in antibody to hepatitis B surface antigen (anti-HBs) was defined as a fourfold rise in levels to ⩾20 mIU/mL that was not accompanied by the presence of antibody to hepatitis B core antigen or attributable to interim vaccination. During 10 years of follow-up, 8.2% of 1,595 vaccinees had boosts in anti-HBs. Persons with boosts did not differ significantly from those without boosts in terms of age, gender, village, initial level of anti-HBs, or level of anti-HBs before the boost. These results underscore the continued exposure to HBV among vaccinees and the continued protection against disease that the vaccine provides.

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Subjects: Infectious Diseases ; Immunology ; Public Health and Epidemiology ; Microbiology

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