European Journal of Pediatrics

, Volume 168, Issue 1, pp 23–25 | Cite as

Presumptive varicella vaccination is warranted in Greek adolescents lacking a history of disease or household exposure

  • Alexandra Katsafadou
  • Konstantina Kallergi
  • George Ferentinos
  • Theodora Goulioti
  • Maria Foustoukou
  • Vassiliki Papaevangelou
Original Paper


Current practice favors serotesting adolescents with a negative history of chickenpox rather than offering presumptive vaccination. Recent epidemiologic data from Greece indicate that a high proportion of adolescents (21.5%) are susceptible to chickenpox. We assessed the reliability of negative varicella history in relation to type of exposure in 311 children and 283 adolescents. In children with social or unknown exposure to varicella, a negative history had a high negative predictive value (NPV = 73.5), supporting the clinical practice of presumptive vaccination. Conversely, children with a negative history and household exposure had a low NPV (13.8), suggesting that pre-vaccination serologic testing is warranted. In conclusion, based on our local epidemiologic data, presumptive varicella vaccination should be offered to all adolescents with the exception of the subgroup of adolescents with household exposure.


Adolescents History Immunisation Serotesting Vaccine Varicella 



Immunoglobulin G


Negative predictive value


Viral zoster virus



We would also like to thank Vianex for supporting us financially for the serologic testing.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alexandra Katsafadou
    • 1
  • Konstantina Kallergi
    • 2
  • George Ferentinos
    • 3
  • Theodora Goulioti
    • 2
  • Maria Foustoukou
    • 2
  • Vassiliki Papaevangelou
    • 4
  1. 1.Second Pediatric Clinic“Agia Sophia” Childrens’ HospitalGoudi, AthensGreece
  2. 2.Microbiology Department“A. Kyriakou” Childrens’ HospitalGoudi, AthensGreece
  3. 3.Health Center PsahnaPsahnaGreece
  4. 4.2nd Department of Pediatrics of the University of Athens “A. Kyriakou” Childrens’ HospitalGoudi, AthensGreece

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