Adoptive transfer of immunity against hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) has been documented in mice and humans. In the present study, we report long-term follow-up of antibodies to HBsAg in humans who received allogeneic bone marrow transplantation (BMT) from donors immunized with HBsAg. BM donors were immunized with recombinant HBsAg. BM or PB cells were transplanted to HLA matched recipients. Recipients were followed for anti-HBs seroconversion. Control groups included non-immunized or rHBsAg immunized healthy adults as well as individuals that had had hepatitis B and recovered spontaneously. PBLs were stimulated lated in vitro with rHBsAg and stimulation was expressed as stimulation index. Adoptive transfer of immunity to HBsAg was initially documented in 12 recipients of BM from anti-HBc+/anti-HBs+ donors. An almost 4 year follow-up showed detectable protective anti-HBs levels (>10 mIU/ml) in 50% of patients. Immunity to HBV was also documented in 22/35 BMT recipients (62%), who received their bone marrow from actively immunized donors. In 7/9 of these BMT recipients, anti-HBs antibodies levels were documented 25 months following BMT. In 6/8 (75%) of patients who received only PBLs from HBV immune donors, adoptive transfer of immunity to HBV, and seroconversion to HBsAg+, were documented within 2 months of i.v. injection. Evidence for specific cellular immune response with increased SIs was documented for healthy vaccinees, and BMT recipients, and in none of the healthy non-vaccinated controls. These results suggest that adoptive transfer of immunity to HBV is a useful method for providing long-lasting protection for BM recipients.
- Adoptive transfer of immunity
- Bone marrow transplantation
- Hepatitis B virus
- Long term