Prevaccination Antibody Screening and Immunisation Program for Healthcare Personnel against Measles, Mumps, Rubella, and Varicella in a Japanese Tertiary Care Hospital

Susceptible healthcare personnel (HCP) are at high risk for acquiring and transmitting measles, mumps, rubella, and varicella (MMRV). Presumptive evidence of immunity to MMRV is recommended for HCP. The aim of this investigation was to examine the seroprevalence of MMRV in Japanese HCP and the association with history or vaccination in terms of occupational safety. To improve infection control at our hospital, we also assessed their immune status by implementing prevaccination antibody screening and an immunisation program with postvaccination serological testing. The authors implemented seroprevalence surveys on MMRV antibodies among 243 newly and 2,664 previously hired HCP in a Japanese tertiary care hospital. Self-administered questionnaires about history of MMRV and vaccination with or without written documentation were completed for newly hired HCP. Prevaccination and postvaccination serological tests were performed using virus-specific IgG enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays. Indeed, only a few HCP accurately remembered or had written records of their disease or vaccination history. After the immunisation program was implemented, the seropositivity rate reached levels as high as ~98% for measles, rubella, and varicella, and increased to ~80% for mumps. the authors concluded that this program was cost-effective, and no severe adverse reactions were reported. The prevaccination antibody screening for HCP would be helpful, given the lack of written vaccination records or documented disease history, and is also useful for the prevention of adverse reactions associated with unnecessary vaccination. It is important for infection control practitioners to comprehend the immune status of HCP against MMRV, and then provide an appropriate immunisation program for susceptible HCP.

Authors: Kanamori H, Tokuda K, Ikeda S, Endo S, Ishizawa C, Hirai Y, Takahashi M, Aoyagi T, Hatta M, Gu Y, Yano H, Weber DJ, Kaku M. ;Full Source: The Tohoku Journal of Experimental Medicine. 2014;234(2):111-6. ;