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Stable seroepidemiology of hepatitis B after universal immunization in Taiwan: A 3-year study of national surveillance of primary school students

Authors
Journal
Vaccine
0264-410X
Publisher
Elsevier
Publication Date
Volume
28
Issue
34
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2010.06.029
Keywords
  • Hepatitis B Virus
  • Anti-Hbs
  • Carrier
  • Booster
  • Escape Mutant
  • Vaccine Failure
Disciplines
  • Medicine

Abstract

Abstract Background This study is aimed to investigate if there was increased risk of HBV acquisition among first graders in Taiwan during a 3-year follow-up period. Methods A total of 1545 healthy first graders, who were vaccinated against HBV in infancy, were recruited in 2005. All subjects were checked for hepatitis B surface antigens (HBsAg), antibodies to HBsAg (anti-HBs), and to the hepatitis B core antigen (anti-HBc). Nucleotide sequence of the “a” determinant of HBsAg was determined by polymerase chain reaction and direct sequencing in the HBsAg carriers. Results Among 1545 subjects, 0.78% were HBsAg seropositive, 54.30% were anti-HBs seropositive, and 1.68% anti-HBc seropositive. Three of the 10 HBV carriers (30%), whose HBV DNA were sequenced for the S gene, had surface antigen mutants at the “a” determinant. Conclusion There were no new chronic HBV infections in this cohort of children for two consecutive years. HBV S gene vaccine escape mutants did exist in the vaccine-failure population, but they may not have made a major health impact.

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