Abstract: Protective efficacy, immunotherapeutic potential, and safety of hepatitis B vaccines

J Med Virol. 2006 Feb;78(2):169-77.

Zuckerman JN.

Academic Centre for Travel Medicine and Vaccines and the WHO Collaborating Centre for Reference, Research and Training in Travel Medicine, Royal Free and University College Medical School, University College London, London, United Kingdom.

Hepatitis B vaccines are highly effective and safe and have been incorporated into national immunization programs in over 150 countries. The major humoral immune response is to the common a determinant of the surface antigen protein of the virus.

Approximately 5-10% of healthy immunocompetent subjects do not mount an antibody response (anti-HBs). Non-response is associated with different HLA-DR alleles and impaired Th cell response, among other factors such as route of injection, age, gender, body mass, and other factors. Important hepatitis B surface antigen variants have also been identified, which may have a potential impact on immunization and routine screening of blood, blood products and tissues, and organs for transplantation. Strategies for hepatitis B immunization are reviewed.

Over 1,000 million doses of hepatitis B vaccine have been used with an outstanding record of safety. There is no evidence of an association between hepatitis B vaccines and the sudden infant death syndrome, chronic fatigue syndrome, and multiple sclerosis (MS).

Several studies are in progress on treatment of chronic hepatitis B infection by immunization with multiple antigenic components, combination of vaccine with antiviral drugs and cytokines, T cell vaccines, DNA vaccines alone or with DNA encoded immunomodulatory cytokines, and direct genetic manipulation of antigen presenting cells. J. Med. Virol. 78:169-177, 2006. (c) 2005 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

PMID: 16372285 [PubMed – in process]

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