Article

Rubella Epidemiology in Africa in the Prevaccine Era, 2002-2009

Global Immunization Division, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia 30333, USA.
The Journal of Infectious Diseases (Impact Factor: 5.78). 07/2011; 204 Suppl 1:S215-25. DOI: 10.1093/infdis/jir108
Source: PubMed
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    ABSTRACT: Background Rubella is a disease of public health significance owing to its adverse effects during pregnancy and on pregnancy outcomes. Women who contract rubella virus during pregnancy may experience complications such as foetal death or give birth to babies born with congenital rubella syndrome. Vaccination against rubella is the most effective and economical approach to control the disease, and to avoid the long term effects and high costs of care for children with congenital rubella syndrome as well as to prevent death from complications. Zimbabwe commenced rubella surveillance in 1999, despite lacking a rubella vaccine in the national Expanded Programme on Immunization, as per the World Health Organization recommendation to establish a surveillance system to estimate the disease burden before introduction of a rubella vaccine. The purpose of this analysis is to describe the disease trends and population demographics of rubella cases that were identified through the Zimbabwe national measles and rubella case-based surveillance system during a 5-year period between 2007 and 2011. Methods Data from the Zimbabwe National Measles Laboratory for the 5-year study period were analysed for age, sex, district of origin, seasonality, and rubella IgM serostatus. Results A total of 3428 serum samples from cases of suspected measles in all administrative districts of the country were received by the laboratory during this period. Cases included 51% males and 49% females. Of these, 2999 were tested for measles IgM of which 697 (23.2%) were positive. Of the 2302 measles IgM-negative samples, 865 (37.6%) were rubella IgM-positive. Ninety-eight percent of confirmed rubella cases were children younger than 15 years of age. Most infections occurred during the dry season. Conclusions The national case-based surveillance revealed the disease burden and trends of rubella in Zimbabwe. These data add to the evidence for introducing rubella-containing vaccine into the national immunization programme. Electronic supplementary material The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12889-015-1642-4) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
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    ABSTRACT: In seven southern African countries (Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland and Zimbabwe), following implementation of a measles mortality reduction strategy starting in 1996, the number of annually reported measles cases decreased sharply to less than one per million population during 2006-2008. However, during 2009-2010, large outbreaks occurred in these countries. In 2011, a goal for measles elimination by 2020 was set in the World Health Organization (WHO) African Region (AFR). We reviewed the implementation of the measles control strategy and measles epidemiology during the resurgence in the seven southern African countries. Estimated coverage with routine measles vaccination, supplemental immunization activities (SIA), annually reported measles cases by country, and measles surveillance and laboratory data were analyzed using descriptive analysis. In the seven countries, coverage with the routine first dose of measles-containing vaccine (MCV1) decreased from 80% to 65% during 1996-2004, then increased to 84% in 2011; during 1996-2011, 79,696,523 people were reached with measles vaccination during 45 SIAs. Annually reported measles cases decreased from 61,160 cases to 60 cases and measles incidence decreased to <1 case per million during 1996-2008. During 2009-2010, large outbreaks that included cases among older children and adults were reported in all seven countries, starting in South Africa and Namibia in mid-2009 and in the other five countries by early 2010. The measles virus genotype detected was predominantly genotype B3. The measles resurgence highlighted challenges to achieving measles elimination in AFR by 2020. To achieve this goal, high two-dose measles vaccine coverage by strengthening routine immunization systems and conducting timely SIAs targeting expanded age groups, potentially including young adults, and maintaining outbreak preparedness to rapidly respond to outbreaks will be needed.
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    ABSTRACT: Molecular data on rubella viruses are limited in Uganda despite the importance of congenital rubella syndrome (CRS). Routine rubella vaccination, while not administered currently in Uganda, is expected to begin by 2015. The World Health Organization recommends that countries without rubella vaccination programs assess the burden of rubella and CRS before starting a routine vaccination program. Uganda is already involved in integrated case-based surveillance, including laboratory testing to confirm measles and rubella, but molecular epidemiologic aspects of rubella circulation have so far not been documented in Uganda. Twenty throat swab or oral fluid samples collected from 12 districts during routine rash and fever surveillance between 2003 and 2012 were identified as rubella virus RNA positive and PCR products encompassing the region used for genotyping were sequenced. Phylogenetic analysis of the 20 sequences identified 19 genotype 1G viruses and 1 genotype 1E virus. Genotype-specific trees showed that the Uganda viruses belonged to specific clusters for both genotypes 1G and 1E and grouped with similar sequences from neighboring countries. Genotype 1G was predominant in Uganda. More epidemiological and molecular epidemiological data are required to determine if genotype 1E is also endemic in Uganda. The information obtained in this study will assist the immunization program in monitoring changes in circulating genotypes. J. Med. Virol. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
    Journal of Medical Virology 04/2014; DOI:10.1002/jmv.23935 · 2.22 Impact Factor

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