Hepatitis B vaccination uptake and correlates of serologic response among HIV-infected and uninfected men who have sex with men (MSM) in Bangkok, Thailand

Wannee Chonwattana, Boonyos Raengsakulrach, Timothy H. Holtz, Punneeporn Wasinrapee, Jaray Tongtoyai, Supaporn Chaikummao, Sarika Pattanasin, Janet M. McNicholl, Frits van Griensven, Marcel E. Curlin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Background: Vaccination against hepatitis B virus (HBV) is recommended for all HBV-susceptible men who have sex with men (MSM). There is limited information on correlates of immunity to HBV vaccination in this group. We present serologic response rates to hepatitis B vaccine and identify factors associated with impaired response among HIV-uninfected and HIV-infected Thai MSM. Methodology: HBV-susceptible volunteers were offered hepatitis B vaccination at months zero, one, and six. We measured baseline (pre-vaccination) total serum IgG and IgG subclasses (all participants), baseline CD4 count, and plasma HIV-1 viral load (PVL) (HIV+ participants). HBV serologies were retested at 12 months. Serologic responses were compared between all groups in men receiving three vaccine doses. Results: 511/651 HIV-negative and 64/84 HIV-positive participants completed the three-dose series. Response rates in HIV-uninfected and -infected participants were 90.1% vs. 50.0% (p < 0.0001). Median pre-vaccination IgG was higher among non-responders than responders overall (1238.9.0 vs. 1057.0 mg/dL, p = 0.003) and among HIV-infected participants (1534.0 vs. 1244.5 mg/dL, p = 0.005), but not significantly among HIV-uninfected participants (1105.5 vs. 1054.3 mg/dL, p = 0.96). Pre-vaccination IgG1 and IgG3 levels were higher among HIV-positive than HIV-negative participants (median 866.0 vs. 520.3, and 105.8 vs. 83.1 mg/dL, respectively, p < 0.0001). Among HIV-infected participants, median CD4 count in non-responders was 378 cells/μL vs. 431 cells/μL in responders (p = 0.20). Median PVL in non-responders was 64,800 copies/mL vs. 15500 copies/mL in responders (p = 0.04). Participants with pre-vaccination plasma IgG >1550 mg/dL and PVL >10,000 copies/mL were almost always non-responsive (p < 0.01). Conclusions: HIV infection was associated with poor vaccine responses. High plasma viral load, elevated pre-vaccination total serum IgG and elevated pre-vaccination IgG1 are associated with poorer response to vaccination among HIV-infected MSM. In this group, the combination of high PVL and pre-vaccination total IgG is highly predictive of vaccine failure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2044-2050
Number of pages7
Issue number17
StatePublished - Apr 12 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • HBV
  • HIV
  • IgG
  • Plasma viral load
  • Serologic response
  • Vaccination

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • veterinary(all)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Infectious Diseases


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