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.
- Plasma viral load
- Serologic response
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Medicine
- Immunology and Microbiology(all)
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Infectious Diseases