Seroepidemiology of varicella-zoster virus and reliability of varicella history in Turkish children, adolescents and adults

Guldane Koturoglu, Zafer Kurugol, Ebru Turkoglu
Paediatric and Perinatal Epidemiology 2011, 25 (4): 388-93
This study aimed to assess the age specific varicella-zoster virus (VZV) seroprevalence in Izmir, Turkey and to determine the reliability of a history of varicella to detect susceptible children, adolescents and adults. A questionnaire, including previous history of varicella, was completed for each participant and, in 590 of them, VZV-specific IgG was measured using an ELISA test. Overall, 28.5% of individuals were seronegative for VZV. By 5 years of age, only 25.5% of children were seropositive for VZV. Among adolescents and young adults, 18.8% and 11.7% were seronegative, respectively. The negative predictive value was 57.8%, decreasing with age (81.9% in children, 34.5% in adolescents and 8.3% in adults). In conclusion, a negative history of varicella is not a reliable predictor of varicella antibody status in adolescents and young adults. Serological testing before immunisation will be logical, rather than presumptive vaccination, for adolescents and adults with negative history of varicella.

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