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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(7), 650; doi:10.3390/ijerph13070650

Seroprevalence of Antibodies against Measles, Rubella and Varicella among Asylum Seekers Arriving in Lower Saxony, Germany, November 2014–October 2015

1
Governmental Institute of Public Health of Lower Saxony (Niedersächsisches Landesgesundheitsamt, NLGA), Roesebeckstraße 4-6, Hanover 30449, Germany
2
European Programme for Intervention Epidemiology Training (EPIET), European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), Tomtebodavägen 11a, Stockholm 17183, Sweden
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Jimmy T. Efird
Received: 23 May 2016 / Revised: 20 June 2016 / Accepted: 23 June 2016 / Published: 30 June 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Refugee Health)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [555 KB, uploaded 30 June 2016]   |  

Abstract

The number of asylum seekers arriving in Germany has increased rapidly since 2014 and cases of vaccine-preventable diseases at reception centres were reported. Asylum seekers 12 years and older arriving in Lower Saxony were serologically screened for antibodies against measles, rubella and varicella between November 2014 and October 2015. We calculated the seroprevalence from the screening data by disease, country of origin and age group and compared them to literature-based herd immunity thresholds in order to identify immunisation gaps. In total, 23,647 specimens were included in our study. Although the vast majority of asylum seekers tested positive for antibodies against measles, rubella and varicella, the seroprevalences were not sufficient to ensure herd immunity. The seroprevalences varied substantially between countries of origin and increased with age. Immunisation of asylum seekers against measles, rubella and varicella is needed and the detailed information on seroprevalences among subgroups of asylum seekers can be used for targeted immunisations at reception centres. View Full-Text
Keywords: measles; rubella; varicella; asylum seekers; seroprevalence; IgG; immunisation measles; rubella; varicella; asylum seekers; seroprevalence; IgG; immunisation
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MDPI and ACS Style

Toikkanen, S.E.; Baillot, A.; Dreesman, J.; Mertens, E. Seroprevalence of Antibodies against Measles, Rubella and Varicella among Asylum Seekers Arriving in Lower Saxony, Germany, November 2014–October 2015. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13, 650.

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