Published: 2021-10-27

Low response rates to hepatitis B vaccine in patients with chronic hepatitis C

Cláudia Alexandra Pontes Ivantes, Tiago Zibetti dos Passos, João Marcelo Marchi Moraes, Nicole Espindula Mattar, Tereza Reck, Amanda Ferreira Rego, Alcindo Pissaia Junior


Background: Hepatitis B is an infectious disease with converging routes of transmission with hepatitis C, making vaccination important in hepatitis C infected people. The objective was to evaluate the vaccine response against hepatitis B virus (HBV) in patients with chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV).

Methods: Retrospective observational study was conducted between November 2018 and April 2020. Subjects with anti-HBs levels ≥10 mUI/ml were considered protected against HBV and those with chronic HCV who did not receive at least one dose of the vaccine schedule or with anti-HBc reagent or even with anti-HBs positive prior to the first dose documented in the HBV vaccine record were excluded. The immune response rates to VHB vaccine in patients with HCV was obtained and different variables were analysed.

Results: The study group was compound of 370 subjects. The majority (55.7%) were male, with a median age of 55.6±11 years. Regarding present or past smoking, 56.9% of patients reported that were active or past tobacco users. HCV genotype 1 corresponded to 59.7% of the cases, followed by genotype 3 (36.88%). One hundred and fourteen (30.9%) of the patients had liver cirrhosis. The immune response to complete HBV vaccine was 62.3%, whereas the response to a single dose was 57.1% (p=1). Only the age of the patient at first dose (p=0.030), smoking status (p=0.017) and the presence of cirrhosis (p=0.046) influenced the immune response to HBV vaccine.

Conclusions: The rate of immune response to standard schedule of HBV vaccination in patients with HCV was low (62.3%).


Hepatitis B, Chronic hepatitis C, HBV vaccine

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