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Canada eliminated measles in 1998. We conducted a sero-epidemiology study to estimate population immunity to measles in the province of Ontario, Canada and to identify groups at higher risk of outbreaks. We used a previously developed modified enzyme immunoassay to test 1,199 residual sera from patients aged 1-39 years. We re-tested negative and equivocal sera using a plaque reduction neutralization assay. We interpreted our results in the context of Ontario's immunization program and vaccine coverage data. Of 1,199 sera, 1035 (86.3%, 95% confidence interval (CI) 84.4, 88.2) were above the measles threshold for protection, 70 (5.8%, 95% CI 4.5, 7.2) were equivocal and 94 (7.8%, 95% CI 6.3, 9.4) were negative. The proportion of positive sera was highest for those 1-5 years, with 180/199 (90.5%, 95% CI 86.4, 94.5) positive sera, and lowest for those age 12-19 years, at 158/199 (79.4%, 95% CI 73.8, 85.0). Adjusted for age, females were more likely than males to have antibody titres above the threshold of protection (odds ratio = 1.60, 95% CI 1.14, 2.24). Most of the study cohort was eligible for two measles vaccine doses, and vaccine uptake in Ontario is >90% for school-aged cohorts. We observed a higher than expected proportion of sera with antibody levels below the threshold of protection, suggesting that immunity in some Ontario age-groups may be waning, despite high vaccine coverage. Alternatively, the traditional measles correlate of protection may not be an appropriate measure of population protection in measles-eliminated settings.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Human vaccines & immunotherapeutics
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A live attenuated virus vaccine of chick embryo origin, used for routine immunization of children and for immunization of adolescents and adults who have not had measles or been immunized with live measles vaccine and have no serum antibodies against measles. Children are usually immunized with measles-mumps-rubella combination vaccine. (From Dorland, 28th ed)
A province of Canada lying between the provinces of Manitoba and Quebec. Its capital is Toronto. It takes its name from Lake Ontario which is said to represent the Iroquois oniatariio, beautiful lake. (From Webster's New Geographical Dictionary, 1988, p892 & Room, Brewer's Dictionary of Names, 1992, p391)
The non-susceptibility to infection of a large group of individuals in a population. A variety of factors can be responsible for herd immunity and this gives rise to the different definitions used in the literature. Most commonly, herd immunity refers to the case when, if most of the population is immune, infection of a single individual will not cause an epidemic. Also, in such immunized populations, susceptible individuals are not likely to become infected. Herd immunity can also refer to the case when unprotected individuals fail to contract a disease because the infecting organism has been banished from the population.
State bounded on the north by Lake Ontario and Canada, on the east by Vermont, Massachusetts, and Connecticut, on the south by the Atlantic Ocean, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, and on the west by Pennsylvania, Lake Erie, and Canada.
Systematic identification of a population's needs or the assessment of individuals to determine the proper level of services needed.
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