In thalassemic children, hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection is common, thus immunization against HBV will reduce and prevent the rate of infection. The aim of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of HBV immunization and the prevalence of HBV infection in beta-thalassemic children in Tehran.
To assess the efficacy of immunization and determine the immune response of children with beta-thalassemia, sera of 99 children who had received three doses (10/20 μg) of recombinant HBV vaccine in months 0, 1, 6, were selected and tested for HBs-Ag, HBs-Ab and anti-HBc by enzyme linked immunosorbent assay method. Also, these sera were tested for HBV DNA using nested-PCR (polymerase chain reaction) method.
In 99 beta-thalassemic children, 89 (89.9 %) were anti-HBs positive (responders) and 10 (10.1%) anti-HBs negative (non-responders). Three cases (3.03%) were anti-HBc positive and 1(1.01%) was HBs-Ag positive. HBV DNA was not detected in any of them.
Our results have revealed that hepatitis B vaccine is highly immunogenic for thalassemic children and particularly well tolerated.