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Keywords:

  • hepatitis B virus vaccination;
  • Liver transplantation

Summary.  Anti-HBs immunoglobulins (HBIG) and lamivudine are main options to prevent hepatitis B virus (HBV) reinfection after liver transplantation. Although they are very effective, development of mutant viruses and high cost of treatment are main limitations for their application. Additionally there is an uncertainity for the duration of that prophylaxis regimen and its mostly applied indefinitely. Recently, post-transplant HBV vaccination is reported to be a cheaper alternative prophylaksis strategy, that enables discontinuation of HBIG. To investigate the efficacy of HBV vaccination in patients transplanted for HBV cirrhosis, we administered double course of double dose recombinant HBV vaccine (Genhavac B; containing HBV pre-S1, pre-S2, and S gene products). Vaccination has been started 1 month after HBIg discontinuation, and lamivudine (100 mg/day) was given throughout the study. The first cycle consisted of 0, 1- and 6-month schedule, and, in nonresponders, second cycle 0, 1-, 2-month schedule. Fourteen patients included into the study. Only one patient seroconverted (an anti-HBs titre of 37 IU/L) after the first cycle. No other patient responded to second cycle. HBV vaccination in the post-transplantation setting does not seems like an effective strategy in the prophylaxis of HBV recurrence.