Hepatitis B immunisation induces higher antibody and memory Th2 responses in new-borns than in adults

Vaccine. 2004 Jan 2;22(3-4):511-9. doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2003.07.020.


New-borns raise limited antibody responses to most T cell-dependent antigens but little is known about neonatal T lymphocyte responses to vaccines. In this study, we compared the immune response induced by the hepatitis B vaccine in new-borns and nai;ve adults. Infants produced markedly higher serum anti-hepatitis B surface (HBs) antibody titres than adults. This was not associated with greater HBs Ag-specific Th2 cytokine responses but with lower primary IFN-gamma responses. At 1 year, the infant memory response to HBs Ag was characterised by higher Th2 responses than those of adults. We conclude that neonatal antibody and T cell responses to hepatitis B vaccine differ from those induced in adults.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adjuvants, Immunologic
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aging / immunology*
  • BCG Vaccine / immunology
  • Female
  • Hepatitis Antibodies / analysis
  • Hepatitis Antibodies / biosynthesis*
  • Hepatitis B Vaccines / administration & dosage
  • Hepatitis B Vaccines / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Cellular / immunology*
  • Immunization
  • Immunologic Memory / immunology*
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Interferon-gamma / biosynthesis
  • Interferon-gamma / physiology
  • Male
  • Th2 Cells / immunology*


  • Adjuvants, Immunologic
  • BCG Vaccine
  • Hepatitis Antibodies
  • Hepatitis B Vaccines
  • Interferon-gamma