Teens susceptible to hepatitis B infection despite vaccination as infants
New research reveals that a significant number of adolescents lose their protection from hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection, despite having received a complete vaccination series as infants. Results in the January 2013 issue of Hepatology, a journal published by Wiley on behalf of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases, suggest teens with high-risk mothers (those positive for HBeAg) and teens whose immune system fails to remember a previous viral exposure (immunological memory) are behind HBV reinfection.
Infection with HBV is a major global health concern even with the success of universal vaccination against the virus in infants. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates two billion individuals worldwide have HBV infection, with 360 million chronic carriers of the hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg). In the U.S., the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) state that up to 1.4 million Americans are living with chronic HBV.
In Taiwan, where the present study was conducted, mother-to-child transmission (vertical transmission) is responsible for much of the HBV cases in that country. In fact, Taiwan has long been an endemic area with an HBV infection rate of 95% and HBsAg carrier rate that is found in up to 20% of the general population. To combat this major health burden, Taiwan launched the world's first universal vaccination program in 1984, vaccinating newborns of infectious mothers then expanding to all newborns in 1986.
"Chronic HBV is a major health burden that leads to cirrhosis, liver cancer (hepatocellular carcinoma) and liver failure, shortening lives and placing a huge economic drain on society," said lead author, Dr. Li-Yu Wang from Mackay Medical College in New Taipei City, Taiwan. "While infantile HBV vaccination is highly effective, it is not 100% and our study examines the long-term success of the HBV vaccine in a high-risk population."
For the present study, 8733 high school students born between July 1987 and July 1991 provided vaccination records and were assessed for presence of HBsAg and antibodies to HBsAg (anti-HBs). The mean age of participants was 16 years and 53% of the group was male. All participants attended school in Hualien County located in east Taiwan.
Findings indicate that HBsAg and anti-HBs positive rates were 2% and 48%, respectively. For students who received the HBV immune globulin (HBIG) and vaccine as infants, 15% were positive for HBsAg—a rate that was significantly higher in students whose mothers were positive for HBeAg and who received HBIG off schedule. Researchers found a significantly negative association between HB vaccination dose and a positive rate of HBsAg among students who did not receive HBIG.
Reporting on previous research the team notes that the vaccine program reduced HBV infection and carrier rates of children in Taiwan. Prior studies also reported a decline in severe hepatitis in infants and liver cancer in children as a result of the vaccine program. Dr. Wang concludes, "Certainly the HBV vaccine program was a great success in Taiwan. For adolescents who lose protection, a HBV vaccination booster at age 15 or older should be considered, particularly in those born to HBsAg positive mothers or who had a high-risk of HBV exposure. Those born to high-risk mothers should first be screened for HBsAg."
Researchers further suggest a routine anti-HBV treatment during pregnancy may help to further reduce infant exposure to the virus. However, they stress that the safety and efficacy of this therapy plan would need to be proven in large-scale studies before standard use to combat HBV.
More information: "Chronic Hepatitis B Infection in Adolescents Who Had Received Primary Infantile Vaccination." Tzu-Wei Wu, Hans Hsienhong Lin, Li-Yu Wang. Hepatology; (DOI: 10.1002/hep.25988); Print Issue Date: January, 2013.
Journal reference: Hepatology
Provided by Wiley
- Predictors of loss of hepatitis B surface antigen in patients co-infected with HIV and HBV Mar 30, 2010 | not rated yet | 0
- Is hepatitis B virus genotype C independently associated with cirrhosis? Feb 09, 2010 | not rated yet | 0
- Hepatitis B screening before chemo deemed cost-effective Jun 20, 2012 | not rated yet | 0
- New studies examine elimination of hepatitis B and C Apr 01, 2009 | not rated yet | 0
- Patients with hepatitis B infection twice as likely to develop non-Hodgkin lymphoma Aug 03, 2010 | not rated yet | 0
- Motion perception revisited: High Phi effect challenges established motion perception assumptions Apr 23, 2013 | 3 / 5 (2) | 2
- Anything you can do I can do better: Neuromolecular foundations of the superiority illusion (Update) Apr 02, 2013 | 4.5 / 5 (11) | 5
- The visual system as economist: Neural resource allocation in visual adaptation Mar 30, 2013 | 5 / 5 (2) | 9
- Separate lives: Neuronal and organismal lifespans decoupled Mar 27, 2013 | 4.9 / 5 (8) | 0
- Sizing things up: The evolutionary neurobiology of scale invariance Feb 28, 2013 | 4.8 / 5 (10) | 14
Classical and Quantum Mechanics via Lie algebras
Apr 15, 2011 I'd like to open a discussion thread for version 2 of the draft of my book ''Classical and Quantum Mechanics via Lie algebras'', available online at http://lanl.arxiv.org/abs/0810.1019 , and for the...
- More from Physics Forums - Independent Research
More news stories
Touted for safety, ease and patient convenience, peripherally inserted central catheters have become many clinicians' go-to for IV delivery of antibiotics, nutrition, chemotherapy, and other medications.
Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes 59 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0
Gourmands and foodies everywhere have long recognized ginger as a great way to add a little peppery zing to both sweet and savory dishes; now, a study from researchers at Columbia University shows purified components of the ...
Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes 13 hours ago | 5 / 5 (1) | 0
There are significant cost and risk factors associated with two procedures commonly used to diagnose or treat gastrointestinal problems, according to research presented at Digestive Disease Week (DDW).
Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes May 19, 2013 | not rated yet | 0
Regular consumption of coffee is associated with a reduced risk of primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC), an autoimmune liver disease, Mayo Clinic research shows. The findings were being presented at the Digestive Disease ...
Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes May 19, 2013 | not rated yet | 0 |
A new case of the deadly coronavirus has been detected in Saudi Arabia where 15 people have already died after contracting it, the health ministry announced on Saturday on its Internet website.
Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes May 18, 2013 | not rated yet | 0
A novel study reports that white men and women of European descent inherit common foot disorders, such as bunions (hallux valgus) and lesser toe deformities, including hammer or claw toe. Findings from the Framingham Foot ...
50 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0 |
Whole-cell pertussis vaccines were more effective at protecting against pertussis than acellular pertussis vaccines during a large recent outbreak, according to a new Kaiser Permanente study published in Pediatrics.
37 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0 |
Optimal treatment of sleep apnea in patients with prediabetes improves blood sugar (glucose) levels and thus can reduce cardiometabolic risk, according to a study to be presented at the ATS 2013 International Conference in ...
23 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0 |
Researchers at Mayo Clinic have developed a promising method to distinguish between pancreatic cancer and chronic pancreatitis—two disorders that are difficult to tell apart. A molecular marker obtained from pancreatic ...
43 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0
A new measure of the heterogeneity – the variety of genetic mutations – of cells within a tumor appears to predict treatment outcomes of patients with the most common type of head and neck cancer. In the May 20 issue ...
23 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0
Emergency physicians are key decisionmakers for nearly half of all hospital admissions, highlighting a critical role they can play in reducing health care costs, according to a new report from the RAND Corporation.
13 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0