Archives of Gynecology and Obstetrics

, Volume 286, Issue 4, pp 901–904

Immunity to varicella-zoster virus in Croatian women of reproductive age targeted for serology testing

  • Tatjana Vilibic-Cavlek
  • Suncanica Ljubin-Sternak
  • Branko Kolaric
  • Bernard Kaic
  • Mario Sviben
  • Ljiljana Kos
  • Gordana Mlinaric-Galinovic
Maternal-Fetal Medicine

Abstract

Objective

The aim of this study was to determine the immunity to varicella-zoster virus (VZV) in Croatian pregnant and non-pregnant women of reproductive age.

Methods

During 2007–2011, a total of 638 women aged 16–45 years were tested for the presence of VZV IgM and IgG antibodies using commercial enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Samples positive for IgG antibodies with positive or equivocal IgM antibodies were tested for IgG avidity.

Results

The overall IgG seroprevalence was 84.3 %. There was a significant increase in IgG seropositivity with age (OR = 1.04 for 1-year increase in age; 95 % CI 1.01–1.08). The lowest seroprevalence rate was reported in the 16–20 age groups (78.6 %), and the highest was in the 41–45 age groups (94.3 %). There was no significant difference in seroprevalence among women residing in urban and rural areas (83.6 vs. 87.0 %, OR 0.76, 95 % CI 0.43–1.34).

Conclusions

The results of this study have shown that a high proportion of Croatian childbearing-aged women (15.7 %) who were referred to the laboratory for VZV serology testing are susceptible to VZV and, thus, at risk for contracting varicella during pregnancy. Serology testing of adolescent girls and adult women who do not have a documented history of varicella is encouraged with the aim of vaccinating seronegative girls and women against VZV before pregnancy. In addition, testing of pregnant women is advised to identify susceptible women and vaccinate them after delivery.

Keywords

Varicella-zoster virus Immunity Reproductive age Croatia 

References

  1. 1.
    Enders G, Miller E, Cradock-Watson J, Bolley I, Ridehalgh M (1994) Consequences of varicella and herpes zoster in pregnancy: a prospective study of 1739 cases. Lancet 343:1548–1551PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Pastuszak AL, Levy M, Schick B, Zuber C, Feldkamp M, Gladstone J, Bar-Levy F, Jackson E, Donnenfeld A, Meschino W, Koren G (1994) Outcome after maternal varicella infection in the first 20 weeks of pregnancy. N Engl J Med 330:901–905PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Sauerbrei A, Wutzler P (2000) The congenital varicella syndrome. J Perinat 20:540–554CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Talukder YS, Kafatos G, Pinot de Moira A, Aquilina J, Parker SP, Crowcroft NS, Brown DWG, Breuer J (2007) The seroepidemiology of varicella zoster virus among pregnant Bangladeshi and white British women in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, UK. Epidemiol Infect 135:1344–1353PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Plans P, Costa J, Espunes J, Piasencia A, Salleras L (2007) Prevalence of varicella-zoster antibodies in pregnant women in Catalonia (Spain). Rational for varicella vaccination of women of childbearing age. BJOG 114(9):1122–1127PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Alanen A, Kahala K, Vahlberg T, Koskela P, Vainionpää R (2005) Seroprevalence, incidence of prenatal infections and reliability of maternal history of varicella zoster virus, cytomegalovirus, herpes simplex virus and parvovirus B19 infection in South-Western Finland. BJOG 112(1):50–56PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Sočan M, Berginc Č, Lajovic J (2010) Varicella susceptibility and transmission dynamics in Slovenia. BMC Public Health 10:360PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Saadatian-Elahi M, Mekki Y, Del Signore C, Lina B, Derrough T, Caulin E, Thierry J, Vanhems P (2007) Seroprevalence of varicella antibodies among pregnant women in Lyon, France. Eur J Epidemiol 22(6):405–409PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Guido M, Tinelli A, De Donno A, Quattrocchi M, Malvasi A, Campilongo F, Zizza A, The Seroepidemiology Group (2012) Susceptibility to varicella-zoster among pregnant women in the province of Lecce, Italy. J Clin Virol 53(1):72–76PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Jamieson DJ, Theiler RN, Rasmussen SA (2006) Emerging infections and pregnancy. Emerg Infect Dis 12(11):1638–1643PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Nardone A, de Ory F, Carton M, Cohen D, van Damme P, Davidkin I, Rota MC, de Melker H, Mossong J, Slacikova M, Tischer A, Andrews N, Berbers G, Gabutti G, Gay N, Jones L, Jokinen S, Kafatos G, de Aragon MV, Schneider F, Smetana Z, Vargova B, Vranckx R, Miller E (2007) The comparative sero-epidemiology of varicella zoster virus in 11 countries in the European region. Vaccine 25(45):7866–7872PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Infectious Diseases (2007) Prevention of varicella: recommendations for use of varicella vaccines in children, including a recommendation for a routine 2-dose varicella immunization schedule. Pediatrics 120(1):221–231CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tatjana Vilibic-Cavlek
    • 1
    • 2
  • Suncanica Ljubin-Sternak
    • 1
    • 2
  • Branko Kolaric
    • 3
    • 4
  • Bernard Kaic
    • 5
  • Mario Sviben
    • 1
    • 2
  • Ljiljana Kos
    • 1
  • Gordana Mlinaric-Galinovic
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Microbiology ServiceCroatian National Institute of Public HealthZagrebCroatia
  2. 2.School of Medicine University of ZagrebZagrebCroatia
  3. 3.Zagreb County Institute of Public HealthVelika GoricaCroatia
  4. 4.School of Medicine University of RijekaRijekaCroatia
  5. 5.Communicable Disease Epidemiology ServiceCroatian National Institute of Public HealthZagrebCroatia

Personalised recommendations