Screening of more than 2000 Hungarian healthcare workers’ anti-measles antibody level: results and possible population-level consequences

Epidemiology and Infection
Volume 147 – 2019
https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/epidemiology-and-infection/latest-issue

Original Paper
Screening of more than 2000 Hungarian healthcare workers’ anti-measles antibody level: results and possible population-level consequences

  1. Lengyel, A. Marossy, N. Ánosi, S. L. Farkas, B. Kele, É. Nemes-Nikodém, V. Szentgyörgyi, I. Kopcsó, M. Mátyus

https://doi.org/10.1017/S0950268818002571
Published online: 11 September 2018, e7
Abstract
Due to the European measles epidemic and the increased number of imported cases, it can be theorised that the risk of exposure among Hungarian healthcare workers (HCWs) has increased. In 2017, the increased measles circulation in the region led to the emergence of smaller local and hospital epidemics. Therefore, our objective was to determine the herd immunity in the high-risk group of HCWs. A hospital-based study of detecting anti-measles IgG activity was performed in 2017 and included 2167 employees of the Military Medical Centre (Hungary). The screening of HCWs presented a good general seropositivity (90.6%). The highest seroprevalence value (99.1%) was found in the age group of 60 years or older. The lowest number of seropositive individuals was seen in the 41–45 years (86.2%) age group, indicating a significant herd immunity gap between groups. Regarding the Hungarian data, there might be gaps in the seroprevalence of the analysed HCWs, implying that susceptible HCWs may generate healthcare-associated infections. This study suggests that despite the extensive vaccination and high vaccine coverage, it is still important to monitor the level of protective antibodies in HCWs, or in a representative group of the whole population of Hungary, and possibly in other countries as well.