Virus-like particles as a highly efficient vaccine platform: diversity of targets and production systems and advances in clinical development.
A study to evaluate the safety and immunogenicity of a recombinant hepatitis B vaccine containing the S and pre-S2 antigens (GenHevac B Pasteur) was conducted in healthy newborn infants. All infants received 20 micrograms of vaccine within 24 h of birth and at 1 and 2 months with a booster injection at month 12. The vaccine was administered alone in 19 infants born to low risk mothers, i.e. surface antigen (HBsAg)-negative and antibody to the core antigen (Anti-HBc)-positive mothers. The vaccine was administered in combination with 100 IU hepatitis B immune globulin (HBIg) at birth and 1 month in 18 infants born to high risk mothers, i.e. HBsAg positive mothers. In the group not receiving HBIg, the anti-HBs seroconversion rate at the 10 mIU ml-1 threshold was 50% 1 month after the first injection. In both groups, the anti-HBs seroconversion rates were 100% 1 month after the third injection and greater than 85% 1 month after the second injection. After the booster injection greater than 90% of the infants had an anti-HBs titre greater than 1000 mIU ml-1 which will probably provide them with adequate protection for several years. The kinetics of the anti-pre-S2 response was similar to that of the anti-HBs response and 100% of infants in both groups had seroconverted 1 month after the second injection of the vaccine. The side effects were scarce, all mild and transient.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)