Category Archives: Vaccines

Knowledge, attitudes of healthcare students toward HBV

J Pharm Pharmacogn Res 6(6): 458-470, 2018.

Original Article | Artículo Original

Exploring knowledge and attitudes toward the hepatitis B virus: an internet-based study among Vietnamese healthcare students

[Explorando el conocimiento y las actitudes hacia el virus de la hepatitis B: un estudio basado en Internet entre estudiantes vietnamitas de la salud]

Trung Quang Vo*, Thanh Le Hoang Nguyen, Mai Ngoc Pham

Department of Pharmacy Administration, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Medicine and Pharmacy at Ho Chi Minh City, Ho Chi Minh City 700000, Vietnam.



Context: Hepatitis B is a serious global public health problem, especially in developing countries such as Vietnam. Many studies worldwide have focused on health care workers, a population at high risk of infection with the hepatitis B virus (HBV), but there is little research that explores the high levels of risk faced by health care students.

Aims: To assess the knowledge and attitudes of Vietnamese undergraduate students toward hepatitis B vaccination.

Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted among 1291 Vietnamese healthcare students between November 2017 and March 2018 via social media.

Results: The mean score for knowledge was 4.0 ± 0.4, and the mean score for attitude was lower (3.5 ± 0.6). Levels of knowledge were higher (p<0.001) among sixth-year students, students who had been vaccinated, and students attending public universities. Most participants were well-informed about the diseases caused by HBV, with 1128 (87.4%) agreeing that HBV infection can lead to liver cancer. Nevertheless, 259 students believed that HBV cannot be spread by sharing a toothbrush with an infected person, and 18.7% thought that asymptomatic carriers are incapable of transmitting HBV.

Conclusions: Although students had adequate knowledge of HBV, their scores for attitude and their rates of vaccination were low. This study therefore recommends improving the knowledge and attitudes of health care students through orientation and sensitization programs and improvements in their educational environment.

Keywords: attitude; hepatitis B virus; health care students; knowledge; Vietnam.


Contexto: La hepatitis B es un grave problema de salud pública mundial, especialmente en países en desarrollo como Vietnam. Muchos estudios en todo el mundo se han centrado en trabajadores de la salud, una población con alto riesgo de infección por el virus de la hepatitis B (VHB), pero hay poca investigación que explore los altos niveles de riesgo que enfrentan los estudiantes de atención médica.

Objetivos: Evaluar el conocimiento y las actitudes de los estudiantes vietnamitas de pregrado hacia la vacunación contra la hepatitis B.

Métodos: Se realizó un estudio transversal entre 1291 estudiantes vietnamitas de salud entre noviembre de 2017 y marzo de 2018 a través de las redes sociales.

Resultados: La puntuación media del conocimiento fue de 4,0 ± 0,4 y la puntuación media para la actitud fue menor (3,5 ± 0,6). Los niveles de conocimiento fueron más altos (p<0.001) entre los estudiantes de sexto año, los estudiantes que habían sido vacunados y los estudiantes que asistían a universidades públicas. La mayoría de los participantes estaban bien informados sobre las enfermedades causadas por el VHB, con 1128 (87,4%) de acuerdo en que la infección por el VHB puede provocar cáncer de hígado. Sin embargo, 259 estudiantes creyeron que el VHB no se puede transmitir al compartir un cepillo de dientes con una persona infectada, y el 18,7% pensó que los portadores asintomáticos son incapaces de transmitir el VHB.

Conclusiones: Aunque los estudiantes tenían un conocimiento adecuado del VHB, sus puntajes de actitud y sus tasas de vacunación fueron bajos. Por lo tanto, recomendamos mejorar el conocimiento y las actitudes de los estudiantes de atención médica a través de programas de orientación y sensibilización y mejoras en su entorno educativo.

Palabras Clave: actitud; virus de la hepatitis B; estudiantes de cuidado de la salud; conocimiento; Vietnam.

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Citation Format: Vo TQ, Nguyen LHT, Pham MN (2018) Exploring knowledge and attitudes toward the hepatitis B virus: an internet-based study among Vietnamese healthcare students. J Pharm Pharmacogn Res 6(6): 458–470.

© 2018 Journal of Pharmacy & Pharmacognosy Research (JPPRes)


J Pharm Pharmacogn Res 2(Suppl. 1): S8, 2014

Special supplement with the abstract book of LATINFARMA 2013

Oral Communication


Ellis G.

Strategies for Well-Being, LLC, Philadelphia, PA, USA. E-mail:

Since no disease of global proportions has been eradicated or effectively controlled without a vaccine, implementing a successful AIDS vaccine program is critical. The effort poses not only scientific challenges, however, but also critical ethical issues.

At issue is the ethical principle of “beneficence,” the obligation to minimize possible harms and maximize possible benefits of medical intervention. Informed consent presents other ethical issues with trials in developing countries. In resource–poor areas, access to the medical care provided to trial participants can be seen as undue inducement to participate in a clinical trial.

Scientists may understandably also wish to minimize risk to study participants, and it has been shown that HIV can be prevented by reductions in high-risk behaviors. However, if this ethical imperative is followed and counseling and contraceptives provided, the study results could be jeopardized.

When a developed country enters a developing country to conduct a clinical trial, its actions are closely scrutinized because of the disparities that exist between the home nation of the researchers and the local trial population. If regulatory authorities and institutional review boards (IRBs) are not well developed in host countries, political and economic interests can influence which vaccines proceed in clinical trials.

This leads to the following question: if the ethical norms and standards of care differ between countries, whose rules prevail – those of the country which has developed the vaccine and is holding the clinical trial, or those of the host country?

This presentation will examine considerations to enhance and accelerate the development of an HIV vaccine in a manner sensitive to ethical concerns of subjects and their communities.


J Pharm Pharmacogn Res 2(Suppl. 1): S118, 2014

Special supplement with the abstract book of LATINFARMA 2013



Ochoa Azze R.

Finlay Institute, Ave 27 No. 19805, Zip Code 11600, PO Box 16017, Havana, Cuba.

Introduction: VA-MENGOC-BC® is a bivalent vaccine against serogroups B and C Neisseria meningitidis. However, some researchers have declared that effective B meningococcal vaccines have not been developed yet. Others state that this vaccine does not provide protection in children under 4 years-old, as well as against heterologous strains. Also, there have been worries about the possibility of hyporesponsiveness to C polysaccharide, if boosters are necessary and regarding the influence of vaccination over the carrier state.

Methods: All results of clinical trials and postlicensure studies were analyzed to clarify the immune response elicited by VA-MENGOC-BC®, and its influence on the meningococcal disease morbidity.

Results: VA-MENGOC-BC® was licensed after successful clinical trials that demonstrated high immunogenicity and efficacy. It induces a Thelper 1 pattern with proper bactericidal and opsonophagocytic activity. Protective response against different Neisseria meningitidis serogroup B strains has been detected, even in infants. This vaccine also induces strong immune response against serogroup C, which support the adjuvant capacity of the proteoliposome. The induction of immunologic hyporesponsiveness has not been demonstrated. After vaccination campaigns there was a rapid fall in the incidence rates of meningococcal disease in several countries. The incidence rates of this disease in Cuba remains under 0.1 x 100,000 inhabitants during last years, that is why there are not epidemiological reasons to add boosters in Cuba, however other studies suggest that boosters could be necessary. The B:4:P1.19,15 and NG:NT:P1.NST phenotypes were the most found before and after vaccination respectively.

Conclusions: 1) VA-MENGOC-BC® induces an evident protective immune response against both serogroup B and serogroup C strains in infants, children and adults, 2) The immune response elicited by this vaccine is not completely limited to vaccine strains, 3) Immunologic hyporesponsiveness has not been proven, 4) The use of boosters should be additionally studied, 5) VA-MENGOC-BC® modifies the carrier state.


J Pharm Pharmacogn Res 2(Suppl. 1): S115, 2014

Special supplement with the abstract book of LATINFARMA 2013



Limonta M1, Lendero N2, Vidic U2, Zumalacárregui L.3

1Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, Ave 31 e/ 158 y 190, PoBox 6162, ZIP 10600, Habana, Cuba. E-mail:
2Bia Separations, Mirce 21, SI-5270 Ajdovscina, Slovenia.
3Higher Polytechnic Institute José Antonio Echeverría, Cuba.

The pIDKE2 plasmid is the main component of the CIGB’s candidate vaccine against Hepatitis C virus (HVC), which is being used in HCV chronically-infected individuals during clinical trials phase 1 and 2. The designed downstream process of pIDKE2 plasmid produces up to 179 g/year. In order to conduct further improvements, modeling of the downstream process was performed. A methodology based on process analysis tools, such as experimental design and modeling was established to identify factors with the highest influence on production cost and the amount of annual plasmid. Taking into account that the pIDKE2 downstream process designed is in its initial stages of development, CIM technology was evaluated as a new manufacturing process on lab scale. Purity and recovery of CIM technology was better than porous particle matrix, thus it was modeling in SuperPro Designer.

The use of this Software as a computer tools is important in order to consider the economic impact of some process parameters such as recovery, purity and lifetime of matrices on the downstream process. This methodology was found very convenient to identify where cost reduction can be achieved at early stage of the development project before the final stage of clinical trials was reached. The use of CIM C4 HLD, a monolith based media, instead of traditional beads based media at laboratory scale gives the necessary information to design a new process which could be increase productivity and equipment requirements.


J Pharm Pharmacogn Res 2(Suppl. 1): S40, 2014

Special supplement with the abstract book of LATINFARMA 2013

Plenary Lecture


Overwijk WW.

Houston, Texas, USA.

T cells can mediate remarkable tumor regressions including complete cure in patients with metastatic cancer. Genetic alterations in an individual’s cancer cells (the mutanome) encode unique peptides (mpeptides) that can be targets for T cells. The recent advances in nextgeneration sequencing and computation prediction allow, for the first time, the rapid and affordable identification of m-peptides in individual patients. Despite excitement about this extended spectrum of potential targets in personalized immunotherapy, there is no experience or consensus on the path to their successful clinical application. A major question is which peptides to target therapeutically. One approach is to select peptides based on mutation analysis and peptide binding prediction algorithms. Alternatively, we can let the immune system “pick” the target peptide by inducing a tumor microenvironment that promotes T cell priming in vivo. We will present data on both approaches and discuss pros and cons of either approach.