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Vaccine. 2016 Jul 29;34(35):4119-4122. doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2016.06.006. Epub 2016 Jun 20.

A review of testing used in seroprevalence studies on measles and rubella.

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NRL, 4th Floor Healy Building, 41 Victoria Parade, Fitzroy 3065, Victoria, Australia. Electronic address:
World Health Organization, Global VPD Laboratory Networks, 20, Avenue Appia, CH-1211 Geneva 27, Switzerland. Electronic address:


Seroprevalence studies are an essential tool to monitor the efficacy of vaccination programmes, to understand population immunity and to identify populations at higher risk of infection. An overarching review of all aspects of seroprevalence studies for measles and rubella published between 1998 and June 2014 was undertaken and the findings reported elsewhere. This paper details the considerable variation in the testing formats identified in the review. Apart from serum/plasma samples, testing of oral fluid, breast milk, dry blood spots and capillary whole blood were reported. Numerous different commercial assays were employed, including microtitre plate assays, automated immunoassays and classical haemagglutination inhibition and neutralisation assays. A total of 29 of the 68 (43%) measles and 14 of the 58 (24%) rubella studies reported qualitative test results. Very little information on the testing environment, including quality assurance mechanisms used, was provided. Due to the large numbers of testing systems, the diversity of sample types used and the difficulties in accurate quantification of antibody levels, the results reported in individual studies were not necessarily comparable. Further efforts to standardise seroprevalence studies may overcome this deficiency.


Measles; Rubella; Seroprevalence

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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