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The seroepidemiology of measles in Western Europe

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  30 May 2001

H. de MELKER
Affiliation:
National Institute of Public Health and the Environment, Bilthoven, The Netherlands
R. G. PEBODY
Affiliation:
PHLS Communicable Disease Surveillance Centre, London, UK
W. J. EDMUNDS
Affiliation:
PHLS Communicable Disease Surveillance Centre, London, UK
D. LÉVY-BRUHL
Affiliation:
Reseau National de Santé Publique, Paris, France
M. VALLE
Affiliation:
National Public Health Institute, Helsinki, Finland
M. C. ROTA
Affiliation:
Instituto Superiore di Sanita, Rome, Italy
S. SALMASO
Affiliation:
Instituto Superiore di Sanita, Rome, Italy
S. van den HOF
Affiliation:
National Institute of Public Health and the Environment, Bilthoven, The Netherlands
G. BERBERS
Affiliation:
National Institute of Public Health and the Environment, Bilthoven, The Netherlands
P. SALIOU
Affiliation:
Aventis-Pasteur, Paris, France
M. CONYN-van SPAENDONCK
Affiliation:
National Institute of Public Health and the Environment, Bilthoven, The Netherlands
P. CROVARI
Affiliation:
Dept of Health Sciences – Hygiene and Preventive Medicine Section, Faculty of Medicine, University of Genoa, Italy
I. DAVIDKIN
Affiliation:
National Public Health Institute, Helsinki, Finland
G. GABUTTI
Affiliation:
Dept of Health Sciences – Hygiene and Preventive Medicine Section, Faculty of Medicine, University of Genoa, Italy Laboratory of Hygiene, Dept of Biology, Faculty of Science, University of Lecce, Italy
L. HESKETH
Affiliation:
Preston Public Health Laboratory, Preston, UK
P. MORGAN-CAPNER
Affiliation:
Preston Public Health Laboratory, Preston, UK
A. M. PLESNER
Affiliation:
Statens Serum Institut, Copenhagen, Denmark
M. RAUX
Affiliation:
Aventis-Pasteur, Paris, France
A. TISCHER
Affiliation:
Robert Koch Institute, Berlin, Germany
E. MILLER
Affiliation:
National Institute of Public Health and the Environment, Bilthoven, The Netherlands
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Abstract

The European Regional Office of WHO has targeted measles for elimination from the region in 2007. Large national, age and sex stratified serological surveys of measles antibody were conducted in seven Western European countries from 1994–8 as part of the European Sero-epidemiology Network. Three patterns were observed in the country-specific measles seroprofiles, ranging from (very) low susceptibility (four countries) to high susceptibility (one country). Susceptibility levels amongst 2–4-year-olds ranged from 2·9 to 29·8 %, in 5–9-year-olds from 2·5 to 25 % and 10–19-year-olds from 2·1 % to 13·9 %. A country's susceptibility profile was highly associated with vaccine coverage for the first dose. First dose coverage ranged from 91 to 97·5 % for low susceptibility countries, 75 to 85 % for intermediate susceptibility countries and 55 % for the high susceptibility country. Only the high susceptibility country still reports epidemic measles. In low susceptibility countries, which have achieved or are very close to measles elimination, the priority will be to maintain high MMR vaccine coverage in all geopolitical units for both vaccine doses. In moderate susceptibility countries there is still some endemic transmission, but also risk of outbreaks as pools of susceptibles accumulate. In the high susceptibility country the priority will be to increase infant vaccine coverage and reduce regional variation in coverage levels.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
© 2001 Cambridge University Press

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