International Journal of Infectious Diseases
Vol 17 | No. 11 | November 2013
Immune response to hepatitis B vaccine in a group of health care workers in Sri Lanka
L.S. Chathuranga, F. Noordeen, A.M.S.B. Abeykoon
Health care workers (HCWs) are considered at high risk of acquiring the hepatitis B virus (HBV). Seroconversion rates after vaccination against HBV among HCWs have not previously been available in Sri Lanka. In the current study, the response to HBV surface antigen (HBsAg) vaccine was assessed in a selected group of HCWs by testing for antibodies against HBsAg (anti-HBs). This was a retrospective descriptive study to measure the anti-HBs levels, using an ELISA, in an immunized group of HCW referred to Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka. Among the 342 participants, 9.9% (n=34) were non-responders. Female participants had a significantly higher immune response (94.7%) than males (p<0.05). The results of the study found no significant decline in the immune response with time (p > 0.05). Post HBsAg vaccination immunity in HCW in Sri Lanka is similar to that of global rates with similar gender variation. Anti-HBs levels should be tested in all HCW following HBsAg vaccination so that necessary precautions can be taken.