Antibody persistence and the effect of a booster dose given 5, 10 or 15 years after vaccinating preadolescents with a recombinant hepatitis B vaccine
The persistence of antibody obtained post-vaccination of preadolescents with three doses of Engerix-B and the effect of a booster administered 5, 10 or 15 years later were monitored in 663 vaccinees. Five, 10 and 15 years post-vaccination >94% of subjects had detectable antibodies and 88.2%, 86.4% and 76.7% had a titre ≥10 IU/L; GMTs were 269 IU/L, 169 IU/L and 51 IU/L, respectively; 99.1-100% vaccinees reached a titre ≥10 IU/l post-booster. GMTs were 118012 IU/L, 32477 IU/L, and 13946 IU/L when the booster was administered 5, 10 or 15 years post-vaccination, respectively. We conclude that vaccination induces immunity in the great majority of vaccinees for at least 15 years. The response to a booster dose suggests persistence of immune memory in almost all vaccinees. Although a booster dose increases substantially anti-HBs titres, the clinical relevance of such an increase remains unknown. These results do not support the need of a booster for at least 15 years when vaccinating preadolescents with Engerix-B.