Immunity against Measles among Vaccinated School-aged Children in Zahedan, Southeast of Iran

B Sharifi-Mood, R Alavi-Naini, M Salehi, H Kouhpayeh, T Mokhtari-Azad, T Nasser- Poor

Abstract


Background: In Iran, despite the use of vaccine since 1976, we are still having local epidemics especially in the children aged 15-20 years old. Since 1996, the yearly epidemics of measles have been reported in these groups in Sistan-Baluchestan province, south east of Iran. The present study was conducted to determinate the level of immunity in this target population in Zahedan.

Methods: A total of 375 school-aged children were selected randomly from 8 schools in four areas of Zahedan city, Sistan-Baluchestan province, Iran, in 2000-1. Sera were separated in laboratory and examined for measles antibody. The titers of antibody against measles were measured using hem-agglutination inhibition method. A titer of 1:4 or more was considered as positive and protective to measles.

Results: A total of 298 samples (76.8%) were positive at the titer 1:4 or more. Among 375 of total cases, 349 students (93%) were vaccinated twice and 26 cases (7%) were vaccinated once. Only 78.6% of the former group was immune against measles and in the letter group, the titer of antibody was under the protective level. No significant correlation was found between sero-positivity and sex (P > 0.05).

Conclusion: It is concluded that the present vaccination program (at 9 and 15 months of age) for production of immunity against measles in this area is insufficient. A new vaccination program (at the age of 12 months and 4-6 years of age) can bring under control the measles by increasing level immunity.


Keywords


Immunity; measles; school-aged children; Iran

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