Recombinant human hepatitis B vaccine initiating alopecia areata: testing the hypothesis using the C3H/HeJ mouse model.

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Animals, Female, Hepatitis-B-Vaccines, Humans, Mice-Inbred-C3H, Time-Factors, Vaccines-Synthetic

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Vet Dermatol 2009 Apr; 20(2):99-104.


Untoward effects of human vaccines suggest that recombinant hepatitis B vaccine may induce alopecia areata (AA) in some patients. Similar untoward immunological effects may also account for AA-like diseases in domestic species. In this study, the C3H/HeJ spontaneous adult onset AA mouse model was used to test the role, if any, of recombinant hepatitis B vaccine on the initiation or activation of AA. Initial experiments demonstrated no effect on induction of AA in young adult female C3H/HeJ mice (P = 0.5689). By contrast, older females, those at the age when AA first begins to appear in this strain, had a significant increase (P = 0.0264) in the time of onset of AA, suggesting that the vaccine may initiate disease in mice predisposed to AA. However, larger vaccine trials, which included diphtheria and tetanus toxoids as additional controls, did not support these initial result findings and suggest that AA associated with vaccination may be within the normal background levels of the given population.