Evidence of Mumps Infection Among Children in the Democratic Republic of Congo

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Mumps is an acute viral infection and while the infection is usually mild, complications can lead to permanent sequelae including brain damage and deafness. The burden of mumps is currently unknown the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), we therefore assessed susceptibility to mumps infection among children 6–59 months of age.


In collaboration with the 2013–2014 DRC Demographic and Health Survey, we conducted a serosurvey to assess population immunity to vaccine preventable diseases. Dried blood spot samples were collected from children 6 to 59 months of age and processed at the UCLA-DRC laboratory in Kinshasa, DRC using the Dynex Technologies Multiplier FLEX chemiluminescent immunoassay platform (Dynex multiplex assay, Chantilly, VA). Logistic multivariate analyses were used to determine risk factors for mumps seropositivity.


Serologic and survey data were matched for 7195, 6–59 month-old children, among whom 22% were positive and 3% indeterminate for mumps antibodies in weighted analyses. In multivariate analyses, the odds of seropositivity increased with increasing age, female gender, number of children in household, increasing socioeconomic status and province (Kinshasa with the highest odds of positive test result compared with all other provinces).


These data suggest that mumps virus is circulating in DRC and risk of exposure increases with age. At present, the introduction of a combined measles–mumps–rubella vaccine remains unlikely, as the capacity to maintain adequate vaccine coverage levels for routine immunization must be improved before additional antigens can be considered for the routine immunization schedule.

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