Effectiveness of Hepatitis B Vaccination for Patients With Inflammatory Bowel and Celiac Disease

Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2023 Oct;21(11):2901-2907.e2. doi: 10.1016/j.cgh.2023.03.025. Epub 2023 Mar 31.


Background & aims: Guidelines recommend measuring antibody (Ab) titers to hepatitis B virus (HBV) after vaccination for patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) or celiac disease (CD) ("patients with IBD/CD") and revaccinating when titers are low. Few data, however, support this recommendation. We aimed to compare effectiveness of HBV vaccination (immunity and infection rates) for patients with IBD/CD vs matched referents.

Methods: Using the Rochester Epidemiology Project, we performed a retrospective cohort study of patients first diagnosed with IBD/CD (index date) while residing in Olmsted County, Minnesota, from January 1, 2000, through December 31, 2019. HBV screening results were obtained from health records.

Results: In 1264 incident cases of IBD/CD, only 6 HBV infections were diagnosed before the index date. A total of 351 IBD/CD cases had documented receipt of 2 or more HBV vaccines before their index date and had hepatitis B surface antigen Ab (anti-HBs) titers measured after their index date. The proportion of patients with HBV-protective titers (≥10 mIU/mL) decreased with time before plateauing, with protective titer rates of 45% at 5 up to 10 years and 41% at 15 up to 20 years after the last HBV vaccination. The proportion of referents with protective titers also decreased with time and was consistently higher than the levels of patients with IBD/CD within 15 years after the last HBV vaccination. However, no new HBV infection developed in any of 1258 patients with IBD/CD during a median follow-up of 9.4 years (interquartile range, 5.0-14.1 years).

Conclusions: Routine testing of anti-HBs titers may not be indicated for fully vaccinated patients with IBD/CD. Additional studies are needed to confirm these findings in other settings and populations.

Keywords: Antibodies; Colitis; Gluten-sensitive enteropathy; Hepatitis; Immunization.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Celiac Disease*
  • Hepatitis B Antibodies
  • Hepatitis B Surface Antigens
  • Hepatitis B Vaccines
  • Hepatitis B virus
  • Hepatitis B* / epidemiology
  • Hepatitis B* / prevention & control
  • Humans
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases* / epidemiology
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Vaccination


  • Hepatitis B Surface Antigens
  • Hepatitis B Vaccines
  • Hepatitis B Antibodies