Seroprevalence of Measles, Mumps, and Rubella Antibodies in College Students in Mumbai, India

Devanshi J Gohil, Sweta T Kothari, Amol B Chaudhari, Bhagwat K Gunale, Prasad S Kulkarni, Ranjana A Deshmukh, Abhay S Chowdhary
Viral Immunology 2016, 29 (3): 159-63
Measles, Mumps, and Rubella (MMR) are vaccine preventable viral infections, which cause significant mortality and morbidity globally. Increased incidence rates of these infectious diseases are observed in young adults. Information on seroprevalence data on MMR in India is limited. The objective of this study was to determine the prevalence of IgG antibodies against MMR among young adults. This was a descriptive cross-sectional study involving 192 healthy college students from Maharshi Dayanand College, Mumbai. The project was approved by the Institutional Ethics Committee of Haffkine Institute. Between December 2012 and September 2013, blood samples were collected from individuals of age 18-23 years after obtaining written informed consent from them. The quantitative determination of IgG antibodies in serum specimens against MMR was determined using enzyme linked immunosorbent assay. Data on history of vaccination were also collected from participants. Among 192 healthy college students (age 18-23 years), MMR seroprevalence was 91%, 97%, and 88%, respectively. The overall seropositivity of MMR was 79%. The highest level of seronegativity was seen with regards to rubella-specific antibodies in 12% of cases. About 96% of the participants did not know about their vaccination history while none of the participants knew about their history of MMR infections. Despite unknown vaccination status, a majority of college students in our study were found seropositive for all three infections, which indicate natural boosting. However, the proportion of seronegativity for measles and rubella was relatively higher. Especially since the study population belonged to reproductive age group, there is a concern of congenital rubella syndrome in the offspring. Although a larger multicentric study is required to confirm the findings, the results indicate that a dose of measles-rubella (MR) vaccine should be offered to these college students.

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