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Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2017 Jan 11;96(1):93-96. doi: 10.4269/ajtmh.16-0470. Epub 2016 Nov 7.

Tetanus in Southern Vietnam: Current Situation.

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Centre for Tropical Medicine and Global Health, University of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom.
Oxford University Clinical Research Unit, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
Hospital for Tropical Diseases, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.


In Vietnam, there are no accurate data on tetanus incidence to allow assessment of disease burden or vaccination program efficacy. We analyzed age structure of 786 tetanus cases admitted to a tertiary referral center in Vietnam for three separate years during an 18-year period to examine the impact of tetanus prevention programs, namely the Expanded Program on Immunization (EPI) and the Maternal and Neonatal Tetanus (MNT) initiative. Most cases were born before the initiation of EPI. Median age increased from 33 (interquartile range: 20-52) in 1994, to 46 (32-63) in 2012 (P < 0.001). Birth-year distribution was unchanged, indicating the same birth cohorts presented with tetanus in 1994, 2003, and 2012. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay measurements in 90 men and 90 women covered by MNT but not EPI showed 73.3% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 62.9-82.1%) of women had anti-tetanus antibody compared with 24.4% (95% CI: 15.9-34.7%) of men, indicating continued tetanus vulnerability in older men in Vietnam.

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