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Varicella seroprevalence in individuals with a negative or unknown varicella history - results from a large travel clinic in Switzerland between 2008 and 2015

Freuler, Michael and De Crom, Susan and Hatz, Christoph and Bühler, Silja. (2016) Varicella seroprevalence in individuals with a negative or unknown varicella history - results from a large travel clinic in Switzerland between 2008 and 2015. Swiss medical weekly, 146. w14342.

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Official URL: http://edoc.unibas.ch/44194/

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Abstract

In Switzerland, vaccination against varicella is not recommended in the basic immunisation schedule. However, for individuals aged 11-40 years who do not have a reliable varicella history the Swiss Federal Office of Public Health recommends either (i) a vaccination or (ii) a serology test and vaccination of those with a negative result. In the Travel Clinic of the University of Zurich, the second strategy is followed. In this study we retrospectively assessed the overall percentage of individuals with varicella-specific antibodies despite a negative history and we examined the influence of age, number of siblings, order of siblings, age difference to siblings and nationality on varicella seropositivity.; Between December 2008 and August 2015, the sera of 1757 individuals with a negative varicella history were tested for varicella antibodies.; A total of 1593 individuals (91%) had a positive result. We found an increasing trend for varicella seropositivity with increasing age. Those aged less than 40 years were significantly more often seronegative (9.5%) than those aged 40 years and above (6.0%, p = 0.049). Seropositivity was associated with nationality. The percentage of seropositives increased with the number of siblings.; Our results indicate that, despite the significant varicella seropositivity differences between those aged below and above, the age of 40 may not be an ideal threshold for performing a varicella serology in individuals with a negative or unknown varicella history. In the age groups above 40, testing for varicella antibodies may be especially reasonable in individuals with no or a small number of siblings and in those of specific nationalities.
Faculties and Departments:09 Associated Institutions > Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH)
03 Faculty of Medicine > Departement Public Health > Sozial- und Präventivmedizin > Medical Services (Neumayr)
09 Associated Institutions > Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH) > Department of Medicine (MED) > Medical Services (Neumayr)
UniBasel Contributors:Hatz, Christoph
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Publisher:EMH
ISSN:1424-7860
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
Identification Number:
Last Modified:27 Oct 2016 11:52
Deposited On:27 Oct 2016 11:52

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