Background and aim: Hepatitis B virus infection is an important public health problem in Turkey. Although hepatitis B vaccination is regarded as safe and effective for the general population, recommendations for hepatitis B immunization in patients with Behcet's disease are not clear. The aim of the present study was to elucidate the response of patients with Behcet's disease to hepatitis B vaccination and to determine whether hepatitis B vaccination has any adverse effects on the course of the disease.
Methods: Thirteen patients with Behcet's disease and 15 healthy individuals were enrolled into a prospective study. All subjects received the 3-dose series of routine hepatitis B vaccine. Anti-hepatitis B surface response was evaluated 1-3 months after the third dose of vaccine.
Results: The responder rates for patient and control groups were 12/13 (92.8%) and 14/15 (93.8%), respectively. Statistical analysis showed no significant difference between the two groups in terms of both the responder rates and mean antibody titers.
Conclusions: These preliminary findings might suggest that the majority of patients with Behcet's disease develop protective antibody response after hepatitis B vaccination and that the immune response against hepatitis B surface antigen is adequate, efficient and intact.