Conflicting results have been reported on vaccination against hepatitis B virus (HBV) as a prophylaxis against viral recurrence after liver transplantation. We investigated the efficacy of 1-year, monthly vaccination using an adjuvant 3-deacylated monophosphoryl-lipid-A (MPL) recombinant S vaccine initially administered together with hepatitis B immunoglobulins (HBIg) in 18 patients transplanted for HBV-related cirrhosis. All received 12 vaccine doses (HBsAg, 20 mcg plus MPL, 50 mcg): the initial six doses (phase I) were administered within 7days after intravenous HBIg (2000IU), while the last 6 (phase II) following HBIg withdrawal. All patients received lamivudine during the study. Anti-HBs titers were determined before each dose and then for 1year after vaccination. After phase I anti-HBs titers were greater than 100IU/l in all patients and in three (16.6%) were greater than 500IU/l. After phase II 10 patients (55.5%) achieved anti-HBs titers greater than 100IU/l and five (27.7%) greater than 500IU/l. One year after vaccination eight patients (44.4%) maintained anti-HBs titers greater than 100IU/l, with a median titer of 234IU/l (102-1205), and 2 (11.1%) greater than 500IU/l. One-year extended monthly vaccination with a MPL-adjuvant recombinant vaccine induces a sustained protective anti-HBs response in approximately half of transplant recipients.
© 2010 The Authors. Journal compilation © 2010 European Society for Organ Transplantation.