1 Dr Yanny is a health science clinical instructor of medicine and Mr Konyn is a medical student in the Department of Medicine at the University of California at Los Angeles in Los Angeles, California. Ms Najarian is a premedical student in the Department of Surgery at the University of California at Los Angeles. Ms Mitry is a graduate student at Claremont Graduate University in Riverside, California.
2 Dr Saab is a professor in the Departments of Surgery and Medicine at the University of California at Los Angeles.
Background: Despite the availability of hepatitis B virus (HBV) vaccination, HBV remains a cause of significant morbidity and mortality around the world. Immunologic response and the development of immunity to the HBV vaccine vary significantly among patients. Multiple studies have looked at patients who are at risk of nonresponse and have offered their own approaches to patients who do not respond. This article reviews the best approaches to HBV vaccine nonresponse. Methods: We searched the PubMed database for all articles on HBV vaccination response from 1981 to January 2018. Recommended and tested approaches to nonresponse were identified. Results: A total of 71 adequate-quality studies with 2354 patients were identified. Repeat vaccination with the same dose increased immunologic seroconversion in 85.7% of patients who previously reported nonresponse and in over 80% of patients with end-stage renal disease, HIV infection, hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection, advanced age, hypoalbuminemia, liver cirrhosis, and hemodialysis (HD) dependence. Patients with inflammatory bowel disease, celiac disease, and diabetes had a milder response (67.5%). Increasing the vaccination dose to 40 µg improved seroconversion in HIV-infected, HCV-infected, and HD patients of initial nonresponse. The use of a subcutaneous injection route increased response by 12% in patients infected with HIV. Conclusion: Patients not responding to an initial vaccine series and not actively infected with HBV benefited from reimmunization by repeating the vaccine series or receiving a single-dose vaccine booster. Although the overall response rate was approximately 90% of previous nonresponders, the rate varied among the populations studied.