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Eur J Epidemiol. 2001;17(7):661-5.

Tetanus immunization in pregnant women. Serum levels of antitetanus antibodies at time of delivery.

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Department of Public Health, Gazi University Faculty of Medicine, Ankara, Turkey.


The objective of this study was to determine the tetanus immunity status of pregnant women at the time of delivery according to tetanus toxoid (TT) vaccination coverage during their most pregnancy. The serum anti-tetanus antibody levels of 493 mothers who had live births at a hospital in Ankara were determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Protected women were defined as those with serum antibody levels > or = 0.6 IU/ml. Overall, 69.0% of mothers had protective tetanus antibody titers at the time of delivery. The rates of protection for mothers who had received no vaccination, one TT dose, or two TT doses during pregnancy were 46.4, 93.5, and 95.6%, respectively. Vaccinating every pregnant woman with at least one dose of TT would be an affordable and effective way to protect against neonatal tetanus, and would be a step toward eliminating the deaths that continue to occur due to this preventable disease in Turkey.

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