Immunity to Varicella Zoster Virus Among Young Adults: A Decline Prior to Widespread Uptake of Varicella Vaccines
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- Grotto, I., Balicer, R.D., Smetana, Z. et al. Infection (2008) 36: 130. doi:10.1007/s15010-007-7192-7
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The epidemiology of chickenpox in Israel is changing, mainly due to the increasing – but not universal – uptake of varicella vaccine.
Patients and Methods:
We conducted a seroprevalence study of varicella zoster virus (VZV) antibodies among 536 Israeli military recruits 18 years of age, on the basis of a representative sample of sera collected in 2003.
The overall seroprevalence rate was 94.6%, which was significantly lower than that observed in a similar population in 1992 (98.4%, p < 0.001). The rate was lower among subjects whose fathers had less than 12 years of schooling (89.8%, p = 0.033). No statistically significant differences were observed when data were stratified by sex, subject's level of education, or origin.
This decline in the level of immunity must be considered when determining pre- and post-exposure vaccination policy among young adults in crowded environments.