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Hepatitis B Vaccination Induces Mucosal Antibody Responses in the Female Genital Tract, Indicating Potential Mechanisms of Protection Against Infection

Simpson, Samuel J., MBChB, BMedSci; Wiggins, Rebecca, PhD; Fox, James M., PhD; Mthethwa, Jabu, FRCSEd, MBChB; Cai, Chun, MBChB; Lacey, Charles J.N., MD, FRCP

Sexually Transmitted Diseases: May 2019 - Volume 46 - Issue 5 - p e53–e56
doi: 10.1097/OLQ.0000000000000949
Notes
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Vaccines against hepatitis B virus confer effective protection. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay was developed to test for specific antibodies in female genital tract secretions. Anti–hepatitis B IgG and IgA were detected in the cervicovaginal secretions of women after hepatitis B vaccination, indicating a potential genital tract role for neutralizing antibodies against sexually transmitted hepatitis B virus.

Specific hepatitis B antibodies were detected in the female genital tract of hepatitis B–vaccinated women and may be a component of protection against this virus.

From the Centre for Immunology and Infection, Department of Biology and Hull York Medical School, University of York, York, United Kingdom

S.J.S., R.W., and J.M.F. contributed equally.

This study was approved by the York Research Ethics Committee (REC reference: 06/Q1108/100).

Contributors: C.J.N.L. acquired funding and conceived the study. C.C. consented participants and collected the samples. R.W., C.C., and J.M. performed the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays and with input from J.M.F. and S.J.S. analyzed data. S.J.S., J.M.F., R.W., and C.J.N.L. led on manuscript preparation. All authors approved the final version.

Conflict of Interest and Sources of Funding: There are no conflicts of interest. This work was supported by Hull York Medical School Pump Priming Award (YOR-A0555).

Correspondence: James M. Fox, PhD, Centre for Immunology and Infection, Department of Biology and Hull York Medical School, University of York, York, YO10 5DD, United Kingdom. E-mail: james.fox@york.ac.uk.

Received for publication August 21, 2018, and accepted November 11, 2018.

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