Predictors of immunity after hepatitis A vaccination in HIV-infected persons


Edgar Turner Overton, Washington University School of Medicine, 660 S Euclid Ave, Campus Box 8011, St Louis, MO 63110, USA. E-mail:


Summary.  Hepatitis A virus (HAV) infection remains a health risk for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected persons. While the inactivated HAV vaccine affords protection to immunocompetent persons >95% of the time, rates of developing protective antibody (anti-HAV) in HIV+ persons are considerably lower. Although low CD4+ T-cell counts have previously been reported to be correlated with this poor response, the effect of HIV viraemia on HAV vaccine response has not previously been reported. The medical records of HIV-infected patients who had received at least one dose of HAV vaccine (Havrix, 1440 EIU) were reviewed for factors associated with the development of a protective anti-HAV response. Serological data with regard to anti-HAV status after vaccination were available in 238 patients with 133 individuals (49.6%) developing immunity after vaccination. In a logistic regression model, the only factors associated with a protective antibody response were an HIV plasma RNA level <1000 copies/mL at the time of vaccination (P = 0.011) and male gender (P = 0.016). Neither nadir CD4+ T cell count nor CD4+ T-cell count at time of vaccination were predictive of the development of anti-HAV. Suppression of HIV replication at time of vaccination is associated with a protective antibody response to HAV vaccination in HIV-infected adults. The low rate of response warrants further research in alternative strategies for HAV vaccination among HIV-infected persons.