Hepatitis B (HBV) infection remains a significant epidemiological problem in the end-stage renal disease (ESRD) population. Vaccination programs using second-generation vaccines lead to effective seroprotection in only 50–60% of these patients. The purpose of this case series was to describe our experience with a novel third-generation vaccine, Bio-Hep-B®, in ESRD patients who had not developed protective anti-HBs titers following a second-generation HBV vaccination protocol. Twenty-nine ESRD patients who had not responded in the past to a standard second-generation HBV vaccination protocol were included in this series. Each patient received 10 µg of Bio-Hep-B® intramuscularly at 0, 1 and 6 months. A month after completion of the vaccination protocol, anti-HBs antibody levels were measured. Following immunization, 25 of 29 patients (86%) developed seroprotective anti-HBs levels ≧10 mIU/ml. There was a significant difference in the titers of anti-HBs antibodies prior to and following vaccination (p < 0.0001). Statistical analysis of the variables age, gender, diagnosis, dialysis mode, weight, hemoglobin, albumin, and KT/V failed to detect predictors of antibody response. A retrospective analysis of the results of a second-generation vaccination program for the years 1999–2001 in our department showed that 19 of 36 (56.4%) ESRD patients developed seroprotection. In conclusion, the results of this study show that the third-generation HBV vaccine Bio-Hep-B® is highly immunogenic in the population of ESRD patients who did not respond in the past to a second-generation vaccine. This enhanced seroprotection offers hope that the new vaccine will reduce the rate of non-responders and help to eliminate HBV infection from dialysis centers.

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