Epidemiology and Infection

  • Epidemiology and Infection / Volume 142 / Issue 01 / January 2014, pp 12-19
  • Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2013 The online version of this article is published within an Open Access environment subject to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike licence <http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.5/>. The written permission of Cambridge University Press must be obtained for commercial re-use.
  • DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0950268813000393 (About DOI), Published online: 11 April 2013
  • OPEN ACCESS

Original Papers

Childhood infections

Seroprevalence survey on measles, mumps, rubella and varicella antibodies in healthcare workers in Japan: sex, age, occupational-related differences and vaccine efficacy

S. KUMAKURAa1a2 c1, H. SHIBATAa2a3, K. ONODAa4, N. NISHIMURAa2a5, C. MATSUDAa3 and M. HIROSEa2a6

a1 Department of Medical Education and Research, Faculty of Medicine, Shimane University, Japan

a2 Infection Control Committee, Faculty of Medicine, Shimane University, Japan

a3 Department of Laboratory Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Shimane University, Japan

a4 Third Division of Internal Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Shimane University, Japan

a5 Department of Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Shimane University, Japan

a6 Centre for Education on Hospital Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Shimane University, Japan

SUMMARY

A seroprevalence survey on measles, mumps, rubella and varicella was conducted on healthcare workers (HCWs) at Shimane University Hospital, Japan utilizing an enzyme immunoassay. Of 1811 HCWs tested, 91·8% were seropositive to measles, 92·1% to mumps, 89·5% to rubella and 96·3% to varicella. Sex-related differences in seroprevalence were found in rubella (males vs. females: 84·7 vs. 92·2%, P < 0·001). Moreover, males aged 30–39 years were most susceptible to rubella (22·4%), which may be attributed to the design of childhood immunization programmes in Japan. Individuals aged ≤29 years were more susceptible to measles (14·3%) and mumps (10·9%), compared to other age groups. There were no significant sex- and age-related differences in varicella seroprevalence. The physician occupational group was more susceptible to rubella, but no significant occupational-related difference was observed in the other diseases. Susceptible subjects, with negative or equivocal serological results were given a vaccine which induced seroconversion in most vaccinees. Seroconversion occurred more frequently in the equivocal group than in the negative group. These findings provide a new insight for the seroprevalence survey of vaccine-preventable diseases in Japanese HCWs with special reference to vaccine efficacy.

(Received October 03 2012)

(Revised January 15 2013)

(Accepted February 01 2013)

(Online publication April 11 2013)

Key words

  • Healthcare workers;
  • measles;
  • mumps;
  • rubella;
  • seroprevalence survey;
  • varicella;
  • vaccination

Correspondence

c1 Author for correspondence: S. Kumakura, M.D., Ph.D., Department of Medical Education and Research, Faculty of Medicine, Shimane University, Izumo, 693-8501, Japan. (Email: kumakura@med.shimane-u.ac.jp)

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