PREVALENCE OF MEASLES, RUBELLA, MUMPS, AND VARICELLA ANTIBODIES AMONG HEALTHCARE WORKERS IN JAPAN

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Abstract

OBJECTIVES

To evaluate the immune status of healthcare workers (HCWs) against measles, rubella, mumps, and varicella in Japan, and to promote an adequate vaccination program among HCWs.

SETTING

University of Tokyo Hospital.

PARTICIPANTS

Eight hundred seventy-seven HCWs.

DESIGN

Serologic screening for measles, rubella, mumps, and varicella was performed on HCWs. Antibodies against measles, rubella, and mumps were detected using hemagglutination inhibition (HI) assay ($4.20 per test). If serum was negative by HI assay, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (EIA) was performed ($12.60 per test). Anti-varicella antibodies were detected by EIA only.

RESULTS

Among tested HCWs, 98.5%, 90.4%, 85.8%, and 97.2% had immunity to measles, rubella, mumps, and varicella, respectively. All those born before 1970 were seropositive for measles. However, individuals susceptible to rubella, mumps, and varicella were present in all age groups. The sensitivities and negative predictive values of HI assay compared with EIA were 86.6% and 11.3% for measles, 99.1% and 92.2% for rubella, and 47.8% and 24.1% for mumps, respectively. For measles and mumps, prevaccination screening by HI assay in combination with EIA led to significant savings compared with EIA only. In contrast, it was estimated that prevaccination screening using only HI assay would be more economical for rubella.

CONCLUSIONS

Aggressive screening and vaccination of susceptible HCWs was essential regardless of age. Pre-vaccination serologic screening using a combination of HI assay and EIA was more economical for measles and mumps

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