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Seroprevalence of varicella zoster virus infection in child and adult population of Catalonia (Spain)


The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of varicella IgG antibodies in the population of Catalonia, and the variables associated. The study was carried out in 2002 in a representative sample of juvenile (5–14 years) and adult population (≥15 years) of Catalonia (Spain). The global prevalence determined by ELISA test was 95.5% (95% CI 94.7–96.3). The prevalence increased with age, from 82% (95% CI 77.0–87.0) in the 5–9 years age up to 99.4% (95% CI 98.2–100) in >64 years of age. No statistically significant differences in the seroprevalence according to the sociodemographic variables were observed. The current strategy of vaccinating preadolescents at 12 years of age who have not suffered the disease will require more than 30 years to cover the current gap immunity in adolescents and young adults. Vaccination with two doses of vaccine for all adolescents and adults ≤ 50 years who report not having suffered the disease during childhood should be considered.

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We would like to thank the participating schools, the doctors, nurses and administrative staff of the primary health care centers who collaborated in obtaining clinical samples and the hospital laboratories who stored the samples.

The study was partly funded by a grant from the Fondo de Investigaciones Sanitarias, Instituto de Salud Carlos III (RCESP C03/09, Epidemiology and Public Health Research Network).

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Correspondence to Neus Cardeñosa.

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Salleras, L., Domínguez, À., Plans, P. et al. Seroprevalence of varicella zoster virus infection in child and adult population of Catalonia (Spain). Med Microbiol Immunol 197, 329–333 (2008). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00430-007-0064-z

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  • Varicella zoster virus
  • Seroprevalence