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Investigation of SARS-CoV-2 antibody levels after COVID-19 vaccine in chronic hepatitis B patients.

AIM: The aim was to compare SARS-CoV-2 IgG antibody levels in chronic hepatitis B patients and healthcare personnel selected as the control group and to determine factors such as age, gender, vaccine type, and number of vaccines that may affect the antibody levels.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: 87 chronic hepatitis B (CHB) patients followed in Ankara Training and Research Hospital Infectious Diseases Clinic and Mamak State Hospital Infectious Diseases outpatient clinic and 89 healthcare personnel selected as the control group were included in the study.SARS-CoV-2 IgG antibody levels in the serum samples of patients and healthcare personnel who received the COVID-19 vaccine were studied with the ELISA method in the Microbiology Laboratory of Ankara Training and Research Hospital, using a commercial ELISA kit (Abbott, USA) in line with the recommendations of the manufacturer. In the study, SARS-CoV-2 IgG levels were compared in CHB patients and healthcare personnel. In addition, the relationship between SARS-CoV-2 antibody level, gender, average age, natural history of the disease, number of vaccinations, vaccine type (Coronavac TM vaccine alone, BNT162b2 vaccine alone or Coronavac TM and BNT162b2 vaccine (heterologous vaccination)), treatment duration of CHB was investigated. Statistical analyses were made in the SPSS program. A value of p≤ 0.05 was considered statistically significant.

FINDINGS: A total of 167 people, including 87 CKD patients and 80 healthcare personnel as the control group, were included in the study. SARS-CoV-2 IgG antibody levels were detected above the cut-off level in the entire study group, regardless of the vaccine type. No difference was detected in SARS-CoV-2 IgG titers after COVID-19 vaccination between CHB patients and healthcare personnel. There was a statistically significant difference in SARS-CoV-2 IgG antibody levels among individuals participating in the study according to vaccine types. Compared to those who received Coronavac TM vaccine alone, the average SARS-CoV-2 IgG level was found to be statistically significantly higher in those who received BNT162b2 vaccine alone or heterologous vaccination with Coronavac TM + BNT162b2 vaccine. There was no difference between the groups in terms of age, gender, number of vaccinations, natural transmission of the disease, and duration of antiviral therapy in the CHD patient group.

CONCLUSION: As a result, SARS-CoV-2 IgG antibody levels above the cut-off value were achieved with Coronavac TM and BNT162b2 vaccines in both CHD patients and healthy control groups. however, both CHD patients and healthcare personnel had higher antibody levels than those who received BNT162b2 alone or those who received heterologous vaccination had higher antibody levels than those with Coronavac TM alone. Therefore, if there are no contraindications, BNT162b2 vaccine may be preferred in CHB and health personnel (Tab. 2, Ref. 14).

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