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Hepatitis A vaccination in children under 2 remains effective for 10 years
Date:8/9/2012

Vaccination against the hepatitis A virus (HAV) in children two years of age and younger remains effective for at least ten years, according to new research available in the August issue of Hepatology, a journal of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD). The study found that any transfer of the mother's HAV antibodies does not lower the child's immune response to the vaccine.

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 1.4 million cases of HAV occur worldwide each year. HAV affects the liver and typically occurs in areas with poor sanitation where ingestion of contaminated food or water can transmit the virus. In the U.S., HAV cases have decreased by 90% in the past 20 years, with roughly 20,000 new cases reported each year according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Experts attribute the decline in HAV cases in the U.S. to routine vaccination of children 12 to 18 months.

According to lead author Dr. Umid Sharapov, an epidemiologist with the CDC and his coauthors, this is the first study to examine the effectiveness of a two-dose inactivated hepatitis A vaccine in children younger than two years of age over a ten-year period. In addition, the researchers investigated whether maternal anti-HAV antibody transfer to their children impacts the vaccine protection against HAV.

With parental consent, researchers enrolled full-term infants who were healthy at six-months of age. Mothers were tested for total antibody to HAV. The 197 infants and toddlers were broken into three age groups: group one-infants 6 to 12 months; group two-toddlers between 12 and 18 months; and group three-toddlers 15 to 21 months of age. Each group was randomized by maternal anti-HAV status. HAV antibody levels were measured at one and six months, and additional follow-up took place at three, five, seven and ten years after the second dose of hepatitis A vaccine.

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

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