Efficacy of primary hepatitis B immunization in children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia

Indian Pediatr. 2008 Apr;45(4):265-70.


Background: Children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) carry a high risk of hepatitis B virus (HIV) infection. The present study was conducted to see if prior routine hepatitis B vaccine received as a part of national immunization program could prevent HBV infection in these children.

Methodology: Ninety-six children with ALL were screened for HBV. Children were divided into three groups according to their initial HBV serology; previously vaccinated children (Group I) (n=34) previously unvaccinated and seronegative children (Group II) (n=56),and unvaccinated but HBsAg negative and anti-HBs positive children (group III) (n=6). Sixty-seven of 96 (69.7%) children received vaccination. The schedule was initiated during the third month of maintenance therapy and each course consisted of three doses given at one month interval.

Results: Anti-HBs seroconversion following the first course of three doses of hepatitis B vaccination in group I, II and III was 57%, 33% and 100%, respectively. It increased to 97% in Group I, 62.5% in Group II, 100% in Group III. HBsAg positivity was found in 11 children (11.5%) and all of them developed chronic hepatitis B. Ten of them were in Group II whereas only one child was in Group I (P<0.04).

Conclusion: This data reveals that routine HBV vaccination within the national immunization program plays an important role in decreasing subsequent hepatitis B infection in children with ALL.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Child
  • Child Welfare
  • Disease Progression
  • Female
  • Health Status
  • Hepatitis B / immunology
  • Hepatitis B / physiopathology
  • Hepatitis B / prevention & control*
  • Hepatitis B Antibodies*
  • Hepatitis B Vaccines*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Precursor Cell Lymphoblastic Leukemia-Lymphoma / physiopathology*
  • Remission Induction
  • Risk Factors


  • Hepatitis B Antibodies
  • Hepatitis B Vaccines