Antibody levels against hepatitis B virus after hepatitis B vaccination in Egyptian diabetic children and adolescents

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The remarkable effectiveness of universal infantile hepatitis B (HB) vaccination is well documented in many countries. Nevertheless, the influence of insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM) on the sero-protective level of antibody to hepatitis B surface antigen (anti-HBs) after HB vaccination has not been investigated in Egyptian children. The aim of this study was to investigate long-term anti-HBs sero-protective levels after infantile HB vaccination in Egyptian IDDM children.


The mean age of the healthy children was 10.86 ± 1.21 y (range, 5.5-15 y); 49 (45.8%) were boys and 58 (54.2%) were girls. The mean age of the IDDM children was 10.29 ± 3.04 y (range, 4-17 y); 32 (50.8%) were boys and 31 (49.2%) were girls. There were no significant differences between the healthy and IDDM children with respect to age and sex (p > 0.05). Among the 107 healthy children, 43 (40%) did not have a protective anti-HBs level (anti-HBs < 10 IU/L) and 64 (60%) had a protective level (anti-HBs ≥ 10 IU/L). In contrast, among the IDDM children, 44 (69.8%) and 19 (30.2%) did not and did have protective anti-HBs levels, respectively. This difference in anti-HBs concentration between healthy and diabetic children was highly significant (p < 0.001). None of the vaccinated healthy or IDDM children was reactive to HBsAg or total anti-HBc.

Patients and Methods:

A total of 170 children (81 boys, 89 girls) who had been routinely vaccinated against HB were included. Their mean age was 10 ± 2.1 y. The enrolled children were divided into healthy (n = 107) and IDDM (n = 63) cohorts. Body Mass Index and levels of hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg), total antibody to hepatitis B core antigen (anti-HBc), and anti-HBs were evaluated in all children. In addition, the duration of diabetes mellitus (DM) and levels of glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) were measured in IDDM children.


Our results are alarming. It appears that the majority of Egyptian diabetic children vaccinated against HB may not have sufficient anti-HBs levels to protect them from HB. Moreover, this study emphasizes the need for a population-based strategy for the management of patients without an anti-HBs protective level after HB vaccination and justifies the need to elucidate the heritability of those children.

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