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Seroprevalence of Measles IgG Antibodies in Married Immigrant Women from Multicultural Families in Korea.

BACKGROUND: Although an effective vaccine has been available, measles still causes mast morbidity and mortality world widely. In Korea, a small number of measles cases have been reported through exposure to imported cases among young people with vaccine-induced measles immunity. Recently due to international migration including marriage, marriage migrants were the second-largest group of foreign population in Korea. Our study was carried out to obtain positive rate of measles antibody among married immigrant women from 12 countries in 10 Gun-Counties and 6 Cities, Korea.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: A total of 547 blood samples were collected from maternal multicultural members from 12 countries. The measles-specific IgG antibody was measured by ELISA (Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay; Enzygnost® Anti-measles virus/IgG, Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics Products GmbH, Marburg, Germany). We performed a simple logistic regression to test whether the measles antibody seroprevalence differed by participant age, location, or country of birth and then calculated the likelihood ratio statistics to determine whether measles antibody seroprevalence differed by country of birth.

RESULTS: Overall positive measles seroprevalence was 75.3% (95% confidence interval: 71.7 - 78.9). Participants aged 20 - 24 years, 25 - 29 years, and 30 - 63 years has respective seropositivities of 52.5%, 55.3%, and 82.7%. In this study, the geometric mean titers of participants aged 21 - 29 years were slightly lower than those of participants aged over 30 years, which were 1,372 mIU/ml and 2,261 mIU/ml, respectively (average of total participants: 2,027 mIU/ml).

CONCLUSION: The study provides detailed information about seroimmunity of the married immigrant population in Korea, which is important for measles elimination. Since the 1980s, most vaccine-preventable diseases including measles have been well-controlled. Nevertheless, sporadic measles outbreaks are still reported. Thus, special attention should be paid to the possible importation of infectious diseases such as measles by immigration.

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