Correlation between in vivo humoral and in vitro cellular immune responses following immunization with hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) vaccines

Vaccine. 1994 Jul;12(9):812-8. doi: 10.1016/0264-410x(94)90290-9.


To study the regulation of the human immune response to hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) we have carefully monitored the in vivo humoral and in vitro cellular immune responses to HBsAg in 50 subjects receiving four doses of hepatitis B vaccine according to a 0, 1, 2, 12 month vaccination scheme. Twenty-three subjects were given a plasma-derived vaccine (Hevac B) and 27 received a recombinant HBsAg vaccine (yeast-derived; Engerix-B). The humoral and cellular immune responses were measured before vaccination (day 0); 6 days after the second dose (day 36); 6 days (day 66), 2 months (day 120) and 10 months (day 365) after the third dose and 1 month after the fourth dose (day 395). Based on the kinetics of the humoral immune responses, the vaccinees could be classified into fast, intermediate and slow/non-responders. Based on the magnitude of the immune response (anti-HBs titre) on day 395, the vaccinees could be divided into high (> or = 2000 U l-1) and low (< or = 2000 U l-1) responders. A close correlation between the kinetics and the magnitude of the humoral immune response was observed. The in vivo anti-HBs response was measured using commercially available immunoradiometric assays. The in vitro cellular immune response was measured using an HBsAg-specific lymphoproliferation assay. Because of interassay variability the results were considered as dichotomous variables (proliferation versus non-proliferation) for further data analysis. A statistically significant correlation was observed between the kinetics and magnitude of the humoral immune response on the one hand and the in vitro anti-HBs response on the other hand.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Female
  • Hepatitis B Antibodies / biosynthesis*
  • Hepatitis B Surface Antigens / genetics
  • Hepatitis B Surface Antigens / immunology*
  • Hepatitis B Vaccines / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Cellular
  • Immunization Schedule
  • Kinetics
  • Lymphocyte Activation
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • Vaccination
  • Vaccines, Attenuated / immunology
  • Vaccines, Synthetic / immunology
  • Viral Envelope Proteins / immunology
  • Viral Envelope Proteins / metabolism


  • Hepatitis B Antibodies
  • Hepatitis B Surface Antigens
  • Hepatitis B Vaccines
  • Vaccines, Attenuated
  • Vaccines, Synthetic
  • Viral Envelope Proteins