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J Infect Dis. 2011 Jul;204 Suppl 1:S335-42. doi: 10.1093/infdis/jir101.

Molecular genotyping and epidemiology of measles virus transmission in the World Health Organization European Region, 2007-2009.

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  • 1National Reference Centre for Measles, Mumps, and Rubella/World Health Organization European Regional Reference Laboratory, Robert Koch-Institute, Division of Viral Infection, Berlin, Germany.



In 2002, the World Health Organization (WHO) adopted a goal to eliminate measles in the European Region by 2010. Measles elimination is defined as the interruption of indigenous measles virus (MV) transmission. The molecular epidemiology of MV transmission in the WHO European Region was studied through the investigation of reported cases and outbreaks to monitor the region's progress toward its measles elimination goal.


National and regional laboratories performed molecular characterization of MV detected between 2007 and 2009 in the WHO European Region. To document indigenous transmission and importations into the region, we analyzed genotyping results and epidemiological data on measles outbreaks reported by the member states.


Since 2007, MV genotype D6 has not been reported in the WHO European Region, suggesting that its chains of transmission have been interrupted, whereas several other MV genotypes are still circulating. Although several European countries have already interrupted indigenous MV transmission, genotyping showed that 3 endemic MV transmission chains have been reestablished in other countries.


The WHO European Region 2010 goal will not be met, as indigenous transmission of MV has not been interrupted. As the region begins to document its process of elimination verification to monitor progress toward the goal, countries will need to ensure that genotyping is performed in all measles outbreaks.

© The Author 2011. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Infectious Diseases Society of America. All rights reserved.

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