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Immune response to hepatitis B vaccine: An evaluation

1 Department of Microbiology, Government TD Medical College, Alappuzha, Kerala, India
2 Department of Pharmacology, Government Medical College, Kottayam, Kerala, India
3 Department of Microbiology, Government Medical College, Idukki, Kerala, India

Correspondence Address:
Dhanya Sasidharan Palappallil,
Department of Pharmacology, Government Medical College, Kottayam, Kerala
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/picr.PICR_119_19

Background: Hepatitis B virus infection is a major public health problem in India, and all health-care workers (HCWs) need to be immunized to prevent occupational exposure. This study was done to find the hepatitis B vaccination rates, immune response, and predictors of titer <10 mIU/ml among students and HCWs of a tertiary care institution in the state of Kerala. Materials and Methods: This was a cross-sectional study conducted in the Department of Microbiology, Government TD Medical College, Alappuzha, Kerala, India, for a period of 1½ years between January 1, 2016, and June 30, 2017. Vaccination rates were collected through a screening proforma. Of the 1321 participants who filled the screening proforma, 5 ml of blood was collected aseptically from 579 participants who were fully vaccinated (all the three doses of vaccine) and stored at −20°C until antibody to hepatitis B surface antigen (anti-HBs) assay was done using Microlisa (Biorad). Data were analyzed using SPSS for Windows, version 16.0. (SPSS Inc., Chicago, IL, USA) (trial version). Statistical Analysis: Descriptive data were expressed using frequencies and percentages, and Chi-square test was applied to find the association between antibody titer <10 mIU/ml and independent variables. Results: Of the 1321 participants who filled up the screening proforma, the vaccination rate was 72.6%. Majority of the participants, i.e. 83.5% of doctors, 81.1% of nurses, 69.7% of students, and 21.4% of technicians, had taken all the three doses of hepatitis B vaccine. Of the fully vaccinated (n = 959) participants, 76.9% had the vaccination during adulthood and only 26.1% had it during childhood. The correlate of protection was defined as the presence of anti-HBs ≥10 mIU/ml. The mean antibody titer was 448 ± 284.97 mIU/ml ranging from 9.8 to 2000. Of the 579 participants whose titer was checked, 71 (12.3%) had a nonprotective titer of <10 mIU/ml. We found that age >35 (odds ratio [OR]: 3.85, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 2.12–6.99]), last dose >10 years (OR: 5.01, 95% CI: 2.94–8.55), no boosters or revaccination (OR: 2.94, 95% CI: 1.42–6.07), and body mass index (BMI) >25 (OR: 2.51, 95% CI: 1.44–3.39) were associated with nonprotective titer. Conclusion: More than a quarter of the study population who were at high risk of exposure were unvaccinated or partially vaccinated. Even after taking the full course of hepatitis B vaccine, 12.3% had titer <10 mIU/ml. Nonprotective titer was found to be associated with age >35 years, last dose taken >10 years ago, no boosters/revaccination, and BMI ≥25.

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    -  Madhavan A
    -  Palappallil DS
    -  Balakrishnapanicker J
    -  Asokan A
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