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[Antibodies against vaccine-preventable diseases in pregnant women and their offspring. Measles, mumps, rubella, poliomyelitis, and varicella].

[Article in German]

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Institut für Virologie und Antivirale Therapie, Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena, Jena.


In the eastern part of Germany, the age of primigravid women has clearly increased since 1990. This may change the protection provided by antibodies in pregnant women as well as their newborns. The objective of the present study was to assess antibodies against vaccine-preventable viral infectious diseases in pregnant women and their offspring to draw conclusions about their protection. Maternal and cord blood samples of 290 women from the eastern part of Germany with a mean age of 28 years were analyzed for antibodies against measles, mumps, rubella, poliomyelitis, and varicella. The study showed that the pregnant women had detectable levels of antibodies against measles virus in 79%, against mumps virus in 96%, against rubella virus in 87%, against polioviruses types 1-3 in 62-64%, and against varicella-zoster virus (VZV) in 97% of the cases. The seroprevalence of the antibodies in the newborns were not significantly different from those of their mothers. When antibody titers of mothers and newborns were compared, significantly higher titers to VZV could be detected in the cord blood sera of newborns. It is suggested that the prevalence of antibodies against measles and poliomyelitis is insufficient to protect the newborns efficiently. An immunity gap of 13% against rubella in mothers results in a potential risk for a congenital rubella syndrome in newborns. Despite the high seroprevalence of rubella and chickenpox, there is considerable potential for infections during pregnancy and neonatal period.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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