Seroprevalence of rubella and immunogenicity following rubella vaccination in adolescent girls in India
Introduction: Serologic surveys conducted in different countries indicate that rubella is a worldwide infection.Several such sero surveys conducted in India have also confirmed that 6-47% of women are susceptible to rubella infection. The current study was conducted on 1,329 female adolescents in 12 districts of Maharashtra, India, to assess their serological status in terms of rubella exposure.
Methodology: After enrollment, a pre-vaccination blood sample was collected from the participants followed by rubella vaccination (R-vac). Adverse events were monitored for the next 6-8 weeks, at which time a post-vaccination sample was collected.
Results: Pre-vaccination rubella immunity was higher in the urban (80.2%) population compared to the rural (73.1%) population. Following R-vac vaccination, out of 1,159 participants who completed the study, all (100%) in the urban and 99.5% of participants in the rural area developed antibodies against rubella.
Conclusion: Substantial numbers of women reach childbearing age without immunity against rubella and thus are at a risk of passing the infection to their fetuses, who can then develop subsequent congenital defects leading to congenital rubella syndrome (CRS). An immunization policy recommending vaccination with rubella or rubella containing vaccine is highly desirable to prevent rubella and CRS.