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Children with celiac disease risk non-response to hepatitis B vaccine

Lana Bandoim's picture

Researchers have found that children who have celiac disease are at a higher risk of not responding to the hepatitis B vaccine. Presentations at the 33rd Annual Meeting of the European Society for Pediatric Infectious Diseases (ESPID) revealed that children may have an impaired vaccine response that does not protect them from the disease.


A study presented at the Annual Meeting of the European Society for Pediatric Infectious Diseases focused on the hepatitis B vaccine in children with celiac disease. The study, titled “Quality of the immune response to hepatitis B virus vaccine in children with celiac disease and the role of gluten,” focused on analyzing the part of gluten in the immune response. Researchers compared the antibody levels of 214 children with celiac disease to a control group of 346 children.

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The results of the study indicate that there is a statistically significant relationship, and children with celiac disease are more like to be non-responders to the hepatitis B vaccine. Researchers found that children with celiac disease had lower antibody levels. In addition, this seemed to affect more children under the age of five. It is also important to note that the children received the hepatitis B vaccine before gluten was even introduced into their diets.

Researchers mentioned that the gluten-free diet did not seem to have an impact on the impaired vaccine response. This indicates that eating gluten or avoiding gluten does not appear to influence the antibody levels. In addition, booster vaccines did not seem to help the antibody levels. Children with celiac disease are not the only ones affected by the non-response to the hepatitis B vaccine. The Hepatitis B Foundation shares that 5 to 15 percent of all people are vaccine non-responders. The CDC recommends additional dosages for vaccine non-responders after tests are completed to determine their level of antibodies.

Read more about celiac disease:
Doctors ignore proper celiac disease diagnosis and care
Celiac disease tripled in children in last 20 years