It is well known that the seroconversion rate of patients following hepatitis B virus (HBV) vaccination is lower in uraemic than healthy subjects. A variety of inherited or acquired factors have been implicated in this diminished response, and the high prevalence of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection among patients on maintenance dialysis has been suggested to play a role. However, the impact of HCV on the immune response to HB vaccine in patients receiving long-term dialysis is not entirely understood. Here, we evaluate the influence of HCV infection on the immunological response to HBV vaccine in dialysis population by performing a systematic review of the literature with a meta-analysis of clinical studies.We used the random-effects model of DerSimonian and Laird with heterogeneity and sensitivity analyses. The end-point of interest was the rate of patients showing seroprotective anti-hepatitis B titres at completion of HBV vaccine schedule among HCV-positive versus HCV-negative patients on chronic dialysis. We identified eight studies involving 520 unique patients on long-term dialysis. Aggregation of study results did not show a significant decrease in response rates among HCV-infected versus noninfected patients [pooled odds ratio = 0.621 (95% CI, 0.285; 1.353)]. The P-value was 0.007 for our test of study heterogeneity. Stratified analysis in various subgroups of interest did not meaningfully change our results. Our meta-analysis showed no association between immunological response to hepatitis B vaccine and HCV infection in individuals on long-term dialysis. These results support the use of recombinant vaccine against hepatitis B in patients on regular dialysis with HCV infection. 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
Adults (18+) Elderly (65+) Efficacy/effectiveness Hepatitis B Hepatitis C