Hepatitis B vaccination failure in children with diabetes mellitus? The debate continues

Salvatore Leonardi, Giovanna Vitaliti, Maria Teresa Garozzo, Michele Miraglia Del Giudice, Gianluigi Marseglia, Mario La Rosa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: The aim of our study was to evaluate the presence of specific antibodies against HBsAg in diabetic children (IDDM) previously vaccinated against hepatitis B virus. Results: 46 of 110 diabetic children (41.8%) and 16 of 100 healthy controls (16%) were found to have not anti-HBs antibodies (p <0.0001). The mean antibody titer was found significantly-lower (p <0.0001) in IDDM children than healthy controls. No correlation was found between antibody titer, age, duration of disease and HbA1c. We did not find any difference of gender, age, years of onset of the disease and metabolic control, between diabetics with anti-HBs antibodies and those without. Patients and Methods: 110 diabetic children were retrospectively studied and 100 healthy controls were recruited. In all patients surface antigen, HBV core IgG, antibodies against HBV "e" antigen and quantitative HBV surface antibodies were detected. In 45 patients molecular typing of HLA alleles was performed. Metabolic control was evaluated as mean glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) and all patients were compliant to insulin therapy. Conclusions: Our data confirm the reduced seroprotection rate for HBV vaccination in diabetics. However it remains poorly clarify the real clinical significance of this result. In our study no diabetic children showed markers of HBV infection.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)440-444
Number of pages5
JournalHuman Vaccines and Immunotherapeutics
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2012


  • Children
  • Hepatitis B virus
  • Type 1 diabetes mellitus
  • Vaccine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Pharmacology


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