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Immunogenicity and safety of the inactivated hepatitis A vaccine in children with juvenile idiopathic arthritis on methotrexate treatment: a matched case-control study.

Clin Exp Rheumatol; 35(4): 711-715, 2017 Jul-Aug.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-28721859


To describe the immunogenicity and side effects of immunisation against hepatitis A virus (HAV) in JIA patients on methotrexate treatment, who have not been previously exposed to HAV.


Case-control study performed in JIA patients and healthy controls matched on age and gender. The subjects received two doses of inactivated anti-HAV vaccine (720 mIU/ml) intramuscularly at 0 and 6 months. Seroconversion, seroprotection rates and anti-HAV-IgG titres were measured at 1, 7 and 18 months. Children were monitored for adverse events.


83 JIA patients and 76 controls were enrolled in the study. At one month, seroprotection rates were lower in children with, as compared to those without JIA (48.2% vs. 65%; p=0.05). At 7 and 18 months, rates of seroprotection rose significantly and were similar in both groups. The titre of anti-HAV-IgG was lower in children with JIA than healthy children at all time points (p<0.001). Vaccines were well tolerated.


Two doses of inactivated HAV vaccine were well tolerated and immunogenic in most immunosuppressed children with JIA; however, a single dose of HAV vaccine was insufficient to induce seroprotection in half of the patients. Further studies are required to analyse the long-term immunity against HAV in this population and optimal HAV immunisation regimen.