Home Gastroenterology Revaccination Suggested for Hep B Vaccine Nonresponders After Hep C Cure

Revaccination Suggested for Hep B Vaccine Nonresponders After Hep C Cure

Revaccination should be considered for patients with chronic HCV who do not respond to HBV vaccination

By Elana Gotkine HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, Sept. 18, 2023 (HealthDay News) — Patients with chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) who do not respond to hepatitis B virus (HBV) vaccine should undergo revaccination after HCV treatment and eradication, according to a study published online July 31 in The Journal of Infectious Diseases.

Noting that patients with chronic HCV do not respond to HBV vaccination as efficiently as the general population, Jesse G. Powell, from Hennepin Healthcare in Minneapolis, and colleagues examined whether revaccination after HCV treatment improves response. Previous HBV vaccine nonresponders were recruited for revaccination after HCV eradication.

Thirty-one of 34 enrolled patients underwent follow-up hepatitis B surface antibody (HBsAb) testing one month after vaccine series completion. The researchers found that 21 of the patients (67.7 percent) produced a reactive HBsAb, eight were nonreactive, and two had equivocal results (25.8 and 6.5 percent, respectively). No significant differences were seen in HBsAb reactivity according to age, sex, race, or presence of advanced fibrosis.

“This study has broad implications for public health in hepatitis-infected individuals,” coauthor Jose Debes, M.D., Ph.D., from the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, said in a statement. “It is known that the hepatitis B vaccine is not as effective in those with hepatitis C. What was not known until now is that after treating hepatitis C the hepatitis B vaccine seems to be more effective in this population. This is important as many of these individuals are still at risk for hepatitis B infection.”

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