Antibodies against vaccine-preventable diseases in pregnant women and their offspring in the eastern part of Germany
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Maternal and cord blood samples of 290 pregnant women in the eastern part of Germany with a mean age of 28 years (16–41 years) were analyzed for antibodies to vaccine-preventable diseases. Both mothers and infants had detectable levels of antibodies to mumps in 96% and to tetanus in 93% of cases. Detectable levels to poliomyelitis, diphtheria, measles and rubella varied from 55% to 91%. Cord blood samples had a significantly higher prevalence of antibodies to pertussis (61%) and diphtheria (81%) in comparison to maternal samples (pertussis 37%, diphtheria 70%) as well as significantly enhanced antibody concentrations to diphtheria. In conclusion, the prevalence of antibodies to pertussis (61%), diphtheria (81%), poliomyelitis (55–59%) and measles (85%) is suggested to be insufficient in newborn infants to protect them against these infectious diseases.
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