Hepatitis B surface antigenemia in blood donors following vaccination

Bruce E. Kloster, Robert E. Kramer, D. Ted Eastlund, Brenda J. Grossman, Barbara S. Zarvan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: Detection of hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) in recently vaccinated adults has not previously been reported. Transient detectable HBsAg has been observed in newborn infants immunized with a recombinant hepatitis B vaccine. STUDY DESIGN AND METHODS: Over a 1‐ year period, eight HBsAg‐positive blood donors mentioned during donor notification that they had been vaccinated for hepatitis B virus 1 to 3 days before donation. Follow‐up tests for HBsAg, antibodies to HBsAg, and antibodies to hepatitis B core antigen were performed 3 to 37 weeks after immunization. Four months later, a group of 19 donors who were coworkers received hepatitis B vaccination and then donated blood the next day. The coworkers were observed for duration of antigenemia. RESULTS: A total of nine cases of transient, confirmed (neutralizable) antigenemia occurred in healthy individuals who donated blood 1 to 3 days following vaccination with a recombinant hepatitis B vaccine. Follow‐up testing showed no evidence of infection by hepatitis B virus. One (5.3%) of 19 blood donors vaccinated as a group had antigenemia at Day 1 but not on Days 2 and 3 following immunization. CONCLUSION: Individuals recently vaccinated for hepatitis B may test positive for HBsAg and become permanently disqualified as blood donors. Therefore, blood collection centers should consider temporary deferral of potential donors who recently received hepatitis B vaccine. 1995 AABB

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)475-477
Number of pages3
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1995


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