Tohoku J. Exp. Med., 2018 October, 246(2)

Vaccination Status and Antibody Titers against Rubella and Measles among Japanese Female College Students Majoring in Childcare between 2015 and 2018

YOSHIFUMI SHOHO,1,2 TAKAO KIMURA,1,3 YOSHIMARO YANAGAWA,1,2 AI SAITO,3 TOSHIYA INOUE,3 CHIAKI SUTO,3 KATSUHIKO TSUNEKAWA,1,3 OSAMU ARAKI,1,3 MAKOTO NARA,1,4 YUTAKA TOKUE4 and MASAMI MURAKAMI1,3

1Department of Clinical Laboratory Medicine, Gunma University Graduate School of Medicine, Maebashi, Gunma, Japan
2Department of Childcare, Ikuei Junior College, Takasaki, Gunma, Japan
3Clinical Laboratory Center, Gunma University Hospital, Maebashi, Gunma, Japan
4Infection Control and Prevention Center, Gunma University Hospital, Maebashi, Gunma, Japan

In 2014, for the protection of medical workers against measles and rubella infection, the Japanese Society for Infection Prevention and Control (JSIPC) recommended either maintaining antibody titers of seroprotective range or two-dose vaccination. JSIPC defined antibody titers into 3 ranges: seroprotective as expected prevention of infection, seronegative as under detection levels, and seropositive as antibody titers ranged between seronegative and seroprotective. This study aimed to explore the association between the number of vaccine doses received and the antibody titers against measles and rubella among Japanese college students majoring in childcare. A total of 841 female students with no history of measles or rubella were serologically screened at the time of college admission between 2015 and 2018. All 841 students had been vaccinated against measles; 738 (87.8%) received two doses of the measles vaccine and 103 (12.2%) received one dose. Likewise, 839 students, except for two, had been vaccinated against rubella; 719 (85.7%) received two doses of the rubella vaccine and 120 (14.3%) received one dose. We thus found that 107 students (12.7%) were seropositive for measles-specific IgG and 731 (86.9%) attained seroprotective titers. By contrast, in case of rubella-specific IgG, only 462 students (55.1%) attained seroprotective titers, and 371 students (44.1%) were seropositive. The two students without receiving rubella vaccination were classified as seronegative. In conclusion, despite that > 85% of students surveyed had received two doses of measles and rubella vaccines, a substantial number of students remain susceptible to measles and especially rubella at the time of college admission.

Key words —— immunization; measles; rubella; students majoring in childcare; vaccine

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Correspondence: Takao Kimura, M.D., Ph.D., Department of Clinical Laboratory Medicine, Gunma University Graduate School of Medicine, 3-39-15 Showa-machi, Maebashi, Gunma 371-8511, Japan.

e-mail: tkimura@gunma-u.ac.jp