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June 1, 1984

Clinical Evaluation in Healthy Adults of a Hepatitis B Vaccine Made by Recombinant DNA

Author Affiliations

From the Merck Institute for Therapeutic Research, Merck Sharp & Dohme Research Laboratories, West Point, Pa.

JAMA. 1984;251(21):2812-2815. doi:10.1001/jama.1984.03340450028021

A vaccine formulated from hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) produced by a recombinant strain of the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae was administered to two groups of human volunteers composed of 37 healthy, low-risk adults. Each subject received a 10-μg dose of HBsAg at 0, 1, and 6 months. By one month, 27% to 40% of the vaccinees had antibody to HBsAg, and by three months 80% to 100% were antibody positive. Large boosts in titer followed the third dose at six months. The antibody formed is predominantly specific for the a determinant of HBsAg. There have been no serious reactions attributable to the vaccine. The most frequent complaint has been transient soreness at the injection site. As far as we know, this is the first reported use in man of a vaccine prepared by recombinant DNA technology.

(JAMA 1984;251:2812-2815)