Immune status against measles and rubella among Chilean subjects of different ages

M. Teresa Valenzuela B, Jeanette Vega M, Irene Leal S, Manuela Vicente S, Verónica Young P, Lilian Vera M, Rodrigo Fasce P, Eugenio Ramírez V

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Background: Results of clinical and epidemiological studies confirm that no cases of measles have occurred in Chile since 1993. However, since covering of vaccination programs do not exceed 95%, an immunological surveillance for this disease is warranted. Aim: To know the immune status against measles and rubella in the Chilean population. Material and methods: A serological census of a representative sample of c ommunities with high (90% or more) or low immunization coverings was performed. Four sub samples along the country were selected: 122 children aged 18 months of age (stratum A), 1,276 children attending the first year of basic school (stratum B), 899 teenagers in their last high school year (stratum C) and 399 women attending a family planning clinic (stratum D). IgG antibodies against measles and rubella were measured using ELISA and hemagglutination inhibition techniques, respectively. Results: Antibodies against measles and rubella were found in 96% and 94% of study subjects. No differences in these titres were found between different strata or communities with high or low vaccination covering. There is a high percentage of positive antibodies against measles among children of 18 months of age and a high percentage of antibodies against rubella among teenagers and women in family planning. Only 3% of the sample had not received any vaccine at the moment of the study. Conclusions: The high prevalence of antibodies against rubella allows to conclude that it is not necessary to consider this antigen in the next vaccination campaign. Due to the high prevalence of antibodies against measles, only the population older than 20 years old should be affected by the disease if this virus enters the country.
Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)359-365
Number of pages7
JournalRevista Medica de Chile
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Mar 1999
Externally publishedYes


  • Antibodies
  • Antibody specificity
  • Measles
  • Rubella, vaccines

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