Background Hepatitis B virus (HBV) co-infection in individuals with hepatitis C virus (HCV)
can enhance the severity of hepatitis and the risks of liver cirrhosis and hepatocellular
carcinoma (HCC). Hepatitis B vaccine is an effective measure to prevent HBV infection.
Whether patients with HCV infection have non-protective antibody responses to hepatitis B
vaccination more frequently than healthy subjects is still controversial and studies about
cytokine response have been seldom reported.
Methods Not-in-treatment patients with chronic HCV infection and 1:2 community/gender matched
healthy control were obtained from a community-based screening. All participants received
three doses of hepatitis B vaccine (20 μg HBsAg/ml/dose) on 0, 1 and 6 months schedule.
Anti-HBs was tested 1 month after the third dose of vaccination and was compared between two
groups. Spot-forming cells (SFCs) of interferon-γ (IFN-γ), interleukin-2 (IL-2),
interleukin-4 (IL-4), interleukin-5 (IL-5) and interleukin-6 (IL-6) produced by lymphocyte
were tested by enzyme-linked immunospot (ELISPOT) and were compared between two groups.