Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Teens susceptible to hepatitis B infection despite vaccination as infants

Date:
January 8, 2013
Source:
Wiley
Summary:
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 suggest teens with high-risk mothers and teens whose immune system fails to remember a previous viral exposure are behind HBV reinfection.

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.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Wiley. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Tzu-Wei Wu, Hans Hsienhong Lin, Li-Yu Wang. Chronic hepatitis B infection in adolescents who received primary infantile vaccination. Hepatology, 2012; DOI: 10.1002/hep.25988

Cite This Page:

Wiley. "Teens susceptible to hepatitis B infection despite vaccination as infants." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 January 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130108122953.htm>.
Wiley. (2013, January 8). Teens susceptible to hepatitis B infection despite vaccination as infants. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130108122953.htm
Wiley. "Teens susceptible to hepatitis B infection despite vaccination as infants." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130108122953.htm (accessed October 21, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

CDC Revamps Ebola Guidelines After Criticism

CDC Revamps Ebola Guidelines After Criticism

Newsy (Oct. 21, 2014) The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have issued new protocols for healthcare workers interacting with Ebola patients. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
WHO: Ebola Vaccine Trials to Start a in January

WHO: Ebola Vaccine Trials to Start a in January

AP (Oct. 21, 2014) Tens of thousands of doses of experimental Ebola vaccines could be available for "real-world" testing in West Africa as soon as January as long as they are deemed safe in soon to start trials, the World Health Organization said Tuesday. (Oct. 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
First-Of-Its-Kind Treatment Gives Man Ability To Walk Again

First-Of-Its-Kind Treatment Gives Man Ability To Walk Again

Newsy (Oct. 21, 2014) A medical team has for the first time given a man the ability to walk again after transplanting cells from his brain onto his severed spinal cord. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
CDC Issues New Ebola Guidelines for Health Workers

CDC Issues New Ebola Guidelines for Health Workers

Reuters - US Online Video (Oct. 21, 2014) The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has set up new guidelines for health workers taking care of patients infected with Ebola. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins