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Epidemiol Infect. 2014 Nov;142(11):2388-96. doi: 10.1017/S0950268813003427. Epub 2014 Jan 15.

Mumps virus infection in vaccinated patients can be detected by an increase in specific IgG antibodies to high titres: a retrospective study.

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Synlab Medical Care Services,Medical Care Centre Weiden,Weiden,Germany.
Institute of Hygiene and Environmental Medicine,Charité - University Medicine Berlin,Berlin,Germany.
National Reference Centre Measles, Mumps, Rubella,Robert Koch Institute,Berlin,Germany.


Mumps outbreaks in highly vaccinated populations with genotype G have been reported repeatedly. Detection of these outbreaks can be difficult in a setting with relatively high vaccination coverage when acute cases of mumps are routinely diagnosed by IgM serology since this marker is not reliable for diagnosis of mumps re-infection. To learn whether diagnostic tests performed in a large private laboratory may be useful to detect mumps outbreaks retrospectively, we reviewed the results of almost 7000 mumps tests. Two groups were compared: group 1 comprised of 3438 samples from patients submitted by physicians and clinicians (it was assumed that these patients visited their doctor due to acute disease). Group 2 comprised of 3398 samples submitted from company medical officers and occupational physicians. Since these patients usually attend for routine check-ups and certification of immunity to vaccine-preventable diseases, these samples comprised a control group. From July 2010 to May 2011, a mumps virus outbreak with more than 300 cases occurred in Bavaria, Southeast Germany. Our study includes samples received for serological mumps tests from January 2009 until December 2011 (36 months). The two groups were analysed with regard to the number of IgM-positive cases per month and the level of IgG titre. We found a marked increase for both parameters in group 1 during the time of the outbreak, while the samples submitted by the occupational medical physicians did not display significant alterations. These parameters reflect the outbreak with high accuracy, indicating that a retrospective analysis of IgG titres may be a useful tool for detection of mumps outbreaks when, as was the case in Germany, (i) a nationwide notification system has not been implemented and (ii) a highly vaccinated population is affected.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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