Persistence of seropositivity among persons vaccinated for hepatitis A during infancy by maternal antibody status: 15-year follow-up

Hepatology. 2016 Mar;63(3):703-11. doi: 10.1002/hep.28375. Epub 2016 Feb 1.


The effect of passively transferred maternal antibody to hepatitis A virus (anti-HAV) on the duration of seropositivity after hepatitis A vaccination during infancy and early childhood is unclear. We obtained levels of anti-HAV at intervals through age 15-16 years among three groups of Alaskan Native children who initiated a two-dose inactivated hepatitis A vaccination series at ages 6 months (group 1), 12 months (group 2), and 15 months (group 3), each group randomized according to maternal anti-HAV status. Seropositivity (anti-HAV ≥20 mIU/mL) 30 years after the second vaccine dose among the three groups was predicted using a random effects model. One hundred eighty-three children participated in the study; follow-up did not differ significantly by vaccine group or maternal anti-HAV status. Although the frequency of seropositivity among all participants through age 10 years was high (100% among groups 2 and 3 and >90% among group 1), there was a decrease thereafter through age 15-16 years among group 1 children, who initiated vaccination at age 6 months (50%-75%), and among maternal anti-HAV-positive children in groups 2 and 3 (67%-87%), who initiated vaccination at ages 12 months and 15 months, respectively. Nonetheless, the model indicated that anti-HAV seropositivity should persist for ≥30 years after vaccination in 64% of all participants; among those seropositive at age 15-16 years, 84% were predicted to remain so for ≥30 years.

Conclusion: Most children vaccinated during early childhood available for sampling maintained seropositivity through age 15-16 years; however, seropositivity was less frequent among those starting vaccination at age 6 months and among maternal antibody-positive participants who started vaccination at age 12 months or 15 months; overall, our findings support current vaccine recommendations and continued follow-up of this cohort.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Age Factors
  • Alaska
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Hepatitis A / immunology*
  • Hepatitis A Vaccines / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Indians, North American
  • Infant
  • Maternal Exposure


  • Hepatitis A Vaccines