Comparison of antibody response to hepatitis B vaccination in infants with positive or negative maternal hepatitis B e antigen (HBeAg) in cord blood: implication for the role of HBeAg as an immunotolerogen.

07:00 EST 8th February 2019 | BioPortfolio

Summary of "Comparison of antibody response to hepatitis B vaccination in infants with positive or negative maternal hepatitis B e antigen (HBeAg) in cord blood: implication for the role of HBeAg as an immunotolerogen."

Hepatitis B e antigen (HBeAg) has been considered to cause immunotolerance to hepatitis B virus (HBV) in newborn infants after fetal HBeAg exposure. This study compared anti-HBs responses to hepatitis B vaccination in infants who were born to HBeAg-positive and -negative mothers respectively, to investigate whether fetal HBeAg exposure may induce immunotolerance to HBV. Totally 265 infants who received recommended neonatal immunoprophylaxis against hepatitis B and had no HBV infection were included. Anti-HBs levels were compared between 124 infants with cord blood positive HBeAg and 141 infants with cord blood negative HBeAg at 7-12 months of age. The infants in two groups had similar age at the follow-up (10.0 ± 2.3 vs 10.1 ± 2.3 months, P = 0.590). Overall, 259 (97.7%) of 265 infants achieved anti-HBs levels (mIU/ml) ≥10 and 6 (2.3%) others had anti-HBs <10. Of 124 HBeAg-positive infants at birth, 46.0%, 39.5%, 12.1%, and 2.4% had anti-HBs levels (mIU/ml) ≥1000, 100-999.9, 10-99.9, and <10, respectively. Of 141 HBeAg-negative infants at birth, 35.5%, 48.9%, 13.5%, and 2.1% showed ≥1000, 100-999.9, 10-99.9, and <10, respectively. The proportions of each anti-HBs level between the two groups were comparable (all P > 0.05). Additionally, the distribution of anti-HBs response levels were also comparable in infants with high and low HBeAg levels (P = 0.818). In conclusions, the fetal HBeAg exposure does not inhibit the antibody response to neonatal hepatitis B vaccination. The data suggest that HBeAg appears not inducing immunotolerance to HBV.


Journal Details

This article was published in the following journal.

Name: Human vaccines & immunotherapeutics
ISSN: 2164-554X


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