Seroprevalence of varicella antibodies among pregnant women in Lyon-France
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The purpose of the study was to calculate the seroprevalence of immunity to the varicella-zoster virus (VZV) infection and to evaluate the positive predictive value (PPV) and the negative predictive value (NPV) of the self-reported history of VZV infection in pregnant women. A cross sectional study was conducted in 18 private medical analysis laboratories. Information on socio-demographic characteristics and past history of varicella or zoster were collected using a questionnaire. Blood samples were obtained to determine the serological levels of past exposure to VZV. Overall, 486 pregnant women were recruited. The seroprevalence of VZV antibodies was 98.8%. Six women were seronegative, of whom four were primiparous. The PPV was high (99.5%) while the NPV was only 10.3%. The PPV is a reliable marker of prior VZV infection. In contrast, a negative history does not predict lack of immunity and should be completed by serological analysis which might be introduced to routine antenatal blood tests.
KeywordsFrance Lyon Pregnancy Seroprevalence Varicella VZV
Negative predictive value
Positive predictive value