Seroprevalence of measles, mumps and rubella among children in American Samoa, 2011, and progress towards West Pacific Region goals of elimination

Abdirahman Mahamud, Yolanda Masunu-Faleafaga, Laura Walls, Nobia Williams, Philip Garcia, Eyasu Teshale, Roxanne Williams, Theresa Dulski, William J Bellini, Preeta K Kutty
Vaccine 2013 August 12, 31 (36): 3683-7

INTRODUCTION: In line with the global goals for measles elimination, countries in the West Pacific Region (WPR) have set a goal to eliminate measles by 2012. Due to its contagiousness, high population immunity is needed for achieving and documenting measles elimination. We assessed population immunity to measles, mumps and rubella among first grade children in American Samoa (AS) through a seroprevalance study.

METHODS: Using commercial indirect enzyme-linked immunosorbant IgG assays (Wampole Laboratories, Cranbury, NJ) we determined IgG antibodies against the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) viruses in sera collected from first grade students in AS in April-May 2011. Vaccination status was retrieved from the immunization cards. Factors associated with seropositivity of measles, mumps, and rubella were analyzed separately.

RESULT: Among 509 first grade students, measles, mumps, and rubella seroprevalence were 92%, 90%, and 93%, respectively. The proportions of first grade students with documented one or two doses of MMR vaccine were 93% and 84%, respectively. The vaccination status of 6% of the first graders was unknown and 1% was unvaccinated. Receiving two-doses of MMR vaccines was associated with high measles and mumps seropositivity (p<0.01).

CONCLUSION: The high measles seroprevalence among children shows the progress by American Samoa towards measles elimination. Achieving and maintaining high two-dose MMR vaccine coverage in all age groups will aid in attaining the measles elimination status and prevent transmission of measles from potential imported measles cases from other countries.

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