Objectives: We assessed the effectiveness of hepatitis B virus (HBV) vaccine in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) patients, evaluated the impact of immunosuppressors and anti-tumor necrosis factor (anti-TNF) agents, and assessed the effectiveness of revaccination.
Methods: IBD patients were vaccinated against HBV with a quick (0, 1, and 2 months) and double-dose schedule (Engerix B). A second vaccination was administered to nonresponders.
Results: Of 241 vaccinated patients, anti-HBs was >10 IU/l in 59% and >100 IU/l in 39%. The response rate (anti-HBs >10 IU/l) was lower among patients under anti-TNF therapy: 46% vs. 62%. In the multivariate analysis, a lower response rate was demonstrated in older patients and those receiving anti-TNFs. The response rate (anti-HBs >100 IU/l) after revaccination was 42%.
Conclusions: The response rate to the HBV vaccination--even with a double-dose schedule--is very low in IBD patients, mainly in those receiving anti-TNFs. However, treatment with immunosuppressors did not affect the efficacy of the vaccine. A considerable--albeit insufficient--success rate may be obtained when two consecutive vaccination courses, each with a three-dose vaccine series, are administered.