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Immune response to hepatitis B vaccine in elite athletes

DOI: 10.2298/mpns0802055r

Keywords: Hepatitis B Vaccines , Hepatitis B Antibodies , Immune System , Football , Adult

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Introduction. Hepatitis B viral infection can create serious health problems, such as acute and chronic hepatitis, cirrhosis of liver and hepatocellular carcinoma. Athletes have bigger risk of hepatitis B infection due to frequent injuries with bleeding, their style of living (promiscuity), close contact with teammates, etc. The aim of this study was to investigate the immune response to hepatitis B vaccine among elite athletes, compared to corresponding control group of male subjects from general non-athlete population, and to test out reaction in relation to age. Method. There were 21 elite football players and 30 control non-athlete males. After written consent, they all received three doses of hepatitis B vaccine (Euvax B, Sanofi Pasteur) during 6 months. Eight weeks later, their immune response (as anti-HBs antibody titre in serum) was assessed and statistical significance of the findings was tested. The level of immune response was also evaluated in different age clusters within test groups. Results. None of the footballers was without response to the vaccine. One of the subjects from the control group did not develop it. The group of athletes was with better mean values of antibody titre (1626621 mIU/ml vs. 1568455 mIU/ml), but without statistical significance (t=0.375; p > 0.05), and with a greater deal of subjects who developed very good immune response (titre over 2000 miU/ml). Younger football players had better immune reaction than older (age 18-24, 1795560 miU/ml, vs. age 25-29 years, 1597470 mIU/ml vs. age 30 and more, 1360904 miU/ml), but without statistical importance (II - 1.593; p > 0.05). Conclusion. Our study has shown that elite athletes respond very well to hepatitis B vaccination and have good immune response. Vaccination against hepatitis B of elite athletes is very important, because viral infection can seriously affect their health and stop their careers. .


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