Autoimmune hazards of hepatitis B vaccine

Autoimmun Rev. 2005 Feb;4(2):96-100. doi: 10.1016/j.autrev.2004.10.002.


According to Hippocratic tradition, the safety level of a preventive medicine must be very high, as it is aimed at protecting people against diseases that they may not contract. This paper points out that information on the safety of hepatitis B vaccine (HBV) is biased as compared to classical requirements of evidence-based medicine (EBM), as exemplified by a documented selectivity in the presentation or even publication of available clinical or epidemiological data. Then, a review is made of data suggesting that HBV is remarkable by the frequency, the severity and the variety of its complications, some of them probably related to a mechanism of molecular mimicry leading to demyelinating diseases, and the others reproducing the spectrum of non-hepatic manifestations of natural hepatitis B. To be explained, this unusual spectrum of toxicity requires additional investigations based upon complete release of available data.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Autoimmune Diseases of the Nervous System / etiology*
  • Autoimmunity*
  • Demyelinating Diseases / etiology
  • Evidence-Based Medicine
  • Hepatitis B Vaccines / adverse effects*
  • Humans
  • Molecular Mimicry
  • Prejudice
  • Risk Factors


  • Hepatitis B Vaccines