The Seroprevalence of Rubella Virus in Children Between 0-15 Years Old in A Hospital in Ankara Province Before Expanded Immunization Program


Aim: In this study, it was aimed to determine the seroprevalence of Rubella in children aged 0-15, who was admitted to Ankara Training and Research Hospital Pediatric outpatient clinic for various reasons between December 2001 and July 2002. In this descriptive study, it is thought that knowing the seroprevalence before the national vaccination program will be important for the evaluation of the future data.

Material and methods: In this descriptive study; the seroprevalence of Rubella in 1170 children aged 0-15 years was investigated. The age, gender, socio-economic level and number of siblings of the 954 cases included in the study were recorded on the prepared forms, and the history of infection was taken from their families. Rubella specific IgG levels from serum samples of the cases were measured by using the RADIM Rubella IgG EIA kit with Micro-ELISA technique.

Results: The average age of the children included in the study was found to be 76 ± 49 months. Considering their gender, 56.9% (n = 543) were male and 43.1% (n = 411) were female. Considering their socio-economic levels; 550 children were in the low income group, 393 children were in the middle income group and 11 children were in the high income group. When the distributions are evaluated according to the number of siblings; 14% (n = 134) of the cases were a single child, 45% (n = 426) had one sibling, 28% (n = 267) had two siblings, and 13% (n = 127) of the cases had ≥ 3 siblings. When evaluated in terms of Rubella seroprevalence, 47.2% (n = 450) of the cases had negative Rubella IgG and 52.8% (n = 504) of them had positive Rubella IgG. According to the age the seropositivity showed a significant increase with the increasing age and remained constant at around 91% in the 13-15 age range (p <0.05).

Conclusion: This study, conducted before the National Immunization Program in 2003, showed that a large part of our population is vulnerable to the risk of Rubella infection. Considering that the seroprevalence increases with age in order to prevent Rubella infection, which affects women of reproductive age and congenital Rubella syndrome (CRS) seen in newborns in particular, it is important to vaccinate all children who have completed their 12th month and have entered the 48th month within the scope of the national vaccination program. The data of this study will guide us in evaluating the success of the program in the population, we provide healthcare services in the following years, as it reflects the situation before the Expanded Immunization Program (EIP).

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