Prevalence of anti-rubella, anti-measles and anti-mumps IgG antibodies in neonates and pregnant women in Catalonia (Spain) in 2013: susceptibility to measles increased from 2003 to 2013

P Plans, F de Ory, M Campins, E Álvarez, T Payà, E Guisasola, C Compte, K Vellbé, C Sánchez, M J Lozano, I Aran, A Bonmatí, R Carreras, M Jané, L Cabero
European Journal of Clinical Microbiology & Infectious Diseases 2015, 34 (6): 1161-71
Non-immune neonates and non-immune pregnant women are at risk of developing rubella, measles and mumps infections, including congenital rubella syndrome. We describe the seroepidemiology of measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) in neonates and pregnant women in Catalonia (Spain). Anti-rubella, anti-measles and anti-mumps serum IgG titres were assessed using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) tests in 353 cord blood samples from neonates of a representative sample of pregnant women obtained in 2013. The prevalence of protective antibody titres in neonates was 96 % for rubella IgG (≥8 IU/ml), 90 % for measles IgG (>300 IU/ml) and 84 % for mumps IgG (>460 EU/ml). Slightly lower prevalences of protective IgG titres, as estimated from the cord blood titres, were found in pregnant women: 95 % for rubella IgG, 89 % for measles IgG and 81 % for mumps IgG. The anti-measles and anti-mumps IgG titres and the prevalences of protective IgG titres against measles and mumps increased significantly (p < 0.001) with maternal age. The prevalence of protective anti-measles IgG titres decreased by 7 % [odds ratio (OR) = 0.15, p < 0.001), the prevalence of protective anti-rubella IgG titres increased by 3 % (OR = 1.80, p < 0.05) and the MMR vaccination coverage (during childhood) in pregnant women increased by 54 % (OR = 2.09, p < 0.001) from 2003 to 2013. We recommend to develop an MMR prevention programme in women of childbearing age based on mass MMR vaccination or MMR screening and vaccination of susceptible women to increase immunity levels against MMR.

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