BARBARA G. WERNER, Ph.D.; JULES L. DIENSTAG, M.D.; BARBARA J. KUTER, M.P.H.; B. FRANK POLK, M.D.; DAVID R. SNYDMAN, M.D.; DONALD E. CRAVEN, M.D.; CLYDE S. CRUMPACKER, M.D.; RICHARD PLATT, M.D.; GEORGE F. GRADY, M.D.
To determine the need for immunization of health workers with antibody to hepatitis B surface antigen (anti-HBs) as their only serologic marker of previous hepatitis B exposure, we studied the level, persistence, and immunologic specificity of isolated anti-HBs in 46 persons identified during screening for hepatitis B vaccine. We rescreened these persons 1 year later, administered a single dose of hepatitis B vaccine, and determined the anti-HBs level at 1, 2, and 8 weeks after vaccination. Isolated anti-HBs levels were low and antibody did not persist; 22 subjects tested had lost detectable anti-HBs within 19 months even though immunologic specificity was shown in vitro in 34. Anamnestic responses suggesting previous exposure and immunity were seen in only 10 subjects; 5 of these subjects had moderate-level, persistent anti-HBs. Although some persons with naturally acquired, isolated anti-HBs may be protected from hepatitis B, the immunologic specificity and protective value of anti-HBs, especially when levels are low, remain questionable.
BARBARA G. WERNER, JULES L. DIENSTAG, BARBARA J. KUTER, B. FRANK POLK, DAVID R. SNYDMAN, DONALD E. CRAVEN, et al. Isolated Antibody to Hepatitis B Surface Antigen and Response to Hepatitis B Vaccination. Ann Intern Med. 1985;103:201–205. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-103-2-201
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1985;103(2):201-205.
Gastroenterology/Hepatology, Infectious Disease, Prevention/Screening, Vaccines/Immunization, Viral Hepatitis.
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