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Teens susceptible to hepatitis B infection despite vaccination as infants
Date:1/8/2013

l 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 HBsAga 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.


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Contact: Dawn Peters
sciencenewsroom@wiley.com
781-388-8408
Wiley
Source:Eurekalert

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