Alessandro Remo Zanetti and his colleagues from Institute of Virology, Italy has found that Initial vaccination with Hepatitis B produces the required concentrations of circulating antibodies in the blood of the patients for long periods. The researchers have found that the circulating antibodies against Hepatitis B vaccination are present in the blood for at least 10 years after vaccination. Researchers have concluded that there is no need of booster doses of Hepatitis B in these patients as enough amount of antibodies are present which can give protection in case of Hepatitis B infection. The results of the work have been published in the journal The Lancet.
Viral hepatitis B is a leading cause of acute and chronic liver disease worldwide. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that, globally, about 2 billion people have been infected with hepatitis B virus (HBV). More than 350 million people are chronically infected. WHO recommends that all countries should have universal infant or adolescent hepatitis B vaccination integrated into their national immunization programs.
The researchers conducted their trial in 1212 children's and 446 Italian Air Force Recruits by vaccinating with Hepatitis B vaccination. They found that 64% of children and 89% of the recruits retained protective concentrations of antibodies. The study shows that infant and adolescent immune systems can recall responding to hepatitis B more than 10 years after immunization.
Professor Zanetti concludes: "In light of our findings, the use of routine booster doses of hepatitis B vaccine does not seem necessary to maintain long-term protection in immuno-competent individuals vaccinated as infants and teenagers."
Ding-Shinn Chen, National Taiwan University, Taiwan said, "Unless accumulating data show a significant increase of HBV infection in adolescents or adults who were vaccinated as children, a policy of booster vaccination in a population should not be recommended. We believe that this applies both to hyper-endemic and low endemic areas of the world."
Source: News wise, The Lancet.