Comparative evaluation of the immunogenicity of yeast-derived (recombinant) and plasma-derived hepatitis B vaccine in infants



The immunogenicity of plasma-derived (HB Vax, MSD) and recombinant hepatitis B virus (Engerix B, SKF) vaccines was evaluated in infants born to hepatitis B virus carrier mothers. The vaccination was carried out at 1 day, 1 month, and 6 months of age using 10 μg of the vaccine given intramuscularly. A total of 83/88 (94.3%) and 74/79 (93.6%) of the infants receiving the plasma-derived vaccine and yeast-derived vaccine showed antibody to hepatitis B surface antigen (anti-HBs). None of the maternal factors studied apart from the HBeAg positivity corellated with vaccine failure. The yeast-derived vaccine gives marginally lower antibody titre than the plasma-derived vaccine. The group-specific anti-“a” antibody was less than 10% of the total anti-HBsAg titre. It was observed that the vaccine alone without prior administration of hepatitis B immunoglobulin is effective in perinatal infection.