Measles Surveillance in Taiwan, 2012–2014: Changing Epidemiology, Immune Response, and Circulating Genotypes

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Abstract

In Taiwan, although the coverage rate of two doses of measles-containing vaccine has been maintained at over 95% since 2001, measles outbreaks occurred in 2002, 2009, and 2011. The present study reports that 43 cases were confirmed by laboratory testing in Taiwan in 2012–2014 and that adults have emerged as one of groups susceptible to measles virus (MV) infection, who may have discrepant humoral immune reactions—indicated by the level of IgM and IgG antibodies compared to a naïve, susceptible measles case. Thirty-seven of 43 cases confirmed by RT-PCR were further characterized by genotyping. In Taiwan, genotype H1 was the major strain in circulation prior to 2010, while D9 was the most frequently detected MV genotype between 2010 and 2011. The genotyping data collected between 2012 and 2014 revealed that H1 rebounded in 2012 after an absence in 2011 and was imported from China and Vietnam. In 2014, genotype B3 first appeared in Taiwan following import from the Philippines and became the most frequently detected strain. Genotype D8, linked to importation from various countries, including India, Indonesia, Thailand, and Vietnam, showed sequence divergence. D9 was imported from Malaysia in 2014. The MV genotypes detected in Taiwan reflected the genotypes of circulating endemic measles strains in neighboring countries. A significant rise in the number of measles cases and in measles with genotypes imported from surrounding countries indicated that measles resurged in Asia in 2014. J. Med. Virol. 88:746–753, 2016. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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