Development of chronic hepatitis B infection in a hepatitis B vaccine responder

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The Hepatitis B vaccine is highly effective for the prevention of hepatitis B (HBV) infection. We report the development of chronic HBV infection (Genotype F) in a vaccinated immunocompetent individual with an anti-HBsAb of 35 mIU/mL post completion of vaccine series. HBV vaccine is based on recombinant proteins of genotype-A and D (predominant genotypes in Europe). It may not be as effective for the prevention of more genetically diverse viruses such as genotype F (predominant genotype in Central and South America). Healthcare providers and patients should be aware that the HB vaccine does not confer 100% protection against HBV infection, even in the setting of protective antibody levels. Partners of individuals infected with non-A or -D genotypes should be advised to consider additional precautions to prevent transmission even in the setting protective antibody levels. Surveillance of circulating HBV genotypes should be undertaken to inform public health policy in relation to prevention of HB in high-risk groups such as men who have sex with men.

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