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Vaccine. 2012 Jun 8;30(27):4073-8. doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2012.04.025. Epub 2012 May 1.

Current epidemiology of rubella and congenital rubella syndrome in Australia: progress towards elimination.

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School of Public Health & Community Medicine, University of New South Wales, High Street, Kensington, Sydney, NSW 2052, Australia.


This study evaluates the evidence for elimination of rubella and congenital rubella syndrome (CRS) in Australia, drawing on three national serosurveys conducted between 1996 and 2007 and supported by statutory notification and vaccine coverage data. Anti-rubella IgG seropositivity was defined as ≥ 10 IU/ml by EIA. Between 1998 and 2007, rubella notifications fell >100-fold, to an average of 2 cases per million and there were five confirmed cases of CRS, two of which were locally acquired in 2003. Weighted overall seropositivity remained constant among 1-49 year-olds (89.6% in 1999; 88.1% in 2007). Between 2002 and 2009, 95% of children received at least one dose of the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine. All three serosurveys provided estimates for R less than 0.5, well below the epidemic threshold of 1. All available data are supportive of Australia being considered for elimination status. Further reductions in incidence of CRS will require continued attention to vaccine coverage in overseas-born women, as well as the maintenance of current high coverage level of two-dose MMR vaccination.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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