Background.Follow-up studies of recipients of hepatitis B vaccine from endemic areas have reported loss of antibody to hepatitis B surface antigen (anti-HBs) in a high proportion of persons vaccinated at birth. In contrast, the long-term durability of antibody in persons vaccinated as adults in nonendemic areas is not well defined. We aimed to assess the durability of anti-HBs among healthcare workers (HCWs) vaccinated as adults and response to a booster among those without protective levels of antibody. Methods.Adult HCWs aged 18-60 at the time of initial vaccination were recruited. All were tested for hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg), antibody to hepatitis B core antigen (anti-HBc), and anti-HBs level. HCWs with anti-HBs <12 mIU/mL were offered a booster and levels were measured 1, 7, and 21 days afterward. Results.Anti-HBs levels were <12 mIU/mL in 9 of 50 (18%), 13 of 50 (26%), and 14 of 59 (24%) HCWs 10-15, 16-20, and >20 years postvaccination, respectively, (P = ns). Four HCWs were anti-HBc positive; none had HBsAg. By logistic regression, older age at vaccination was the only predictor of inadequate anti-HBs level (P =. 0005). Thirty-four of 36 subjects with inadequate anti-HBs levels received a booster and 32 (94%) developed levels >12 mIU/mL within 3 weeks. Conclusions.Anti-HBs levels decrease after 10-31 years and fall below a level considered protective in approximately 25% of cases. The rapid and robust response to a booster vaccine suggests a long-lasting amnestic response. Hepatitis B vaccination provides long-term protection against hepatitis B and booster vaccination does not appear to be necessary in HCWs.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Microbiology (medical)
- Infectious Diseases