NEW YORK (Reuters Health) For the 5% to 10% of adults who fail to mount an adequate response to the standard hepatitis B virus (HBV) vaccine regimen, a double dose of the combined hepatitis A and B vaccine may turn these nonresponders into responders, according to results of a study from Sweden which is published in the August 1 issue of the Journal of Infectious Diseases

Instead of repeating the standard HBV vaccine regimen in nonresponders, Dr. Kristina Cardell from University Hospital, Linkoping and colleagues opted to administer the combined hepatitis A and B vaccine.

After 3 doses, 95% of prior nonresponders and 100% of controls had developed a response.

In a commentary, Dr. Helmut M. Diepolder from University of Munich, Germany, writes, “These results are among the best achieved in comparable studies using revaccination with the standard hepatitis B vaccine and are comparable to results from revaccination studies using the pre-S1/S2 vaccine or vaccines with new adjuvants.”

J Infect Dis 2008;198:297-211197,299-304.