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Open Access Research article

Rubella seroprevalence among pregnant women in Burkina Faso

Marc C Tahita1, Judith M Hübschen2, Zekiba Tarnagda1, Da Ernest3, Emilie Charpentier2, Jacques R Kremer2, Claude P Muller2* and Jean B Ouedraogo1

Author Affiliations

1 Institut de Recherche en Sciences de la Santé, 399 Avenue de la liberté, Bobo-Dioulasso, BP 545, Burkina Faso

2 Institute of Immunology, Centre de Recherche Public de la Santé/Laboratoire National de Santé, 20A rue Auguste Lumière, Luxembourg, L, 1950, Luxembourg

3 Clinique Lorentia, Ministère de la Santé, Bobo-Dioulasso, 01 BP 502, Burkina Faso

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BMC Infectious Diseases 2013, 13:164  doi:10.1186/1471-2334-13-164

Published: 4 April 2013

Abstract

Background

Despite the serious consequences of rubella infection during early pregnancy, very little is known about the rubella seroprevalence in a number of African countries including Burkina Faso.

Methods

Between December 2007 and March 2008 serum samples were collected from 341 pregnant women in Bobo (n = 132, urban area) and Houndé (n = 209, rural area) and were tested for rubella-specific IgG antibodies with a commercial ELISA kit.

Results

An overall seropositivity rate of 95.0% (324/341) was found, with a higher percentage in the urban population and in the oldest age group. Considering an antibody titer of at least 10 International Units per ml as protective, the overall immunity rate in the cohort of pregnant women was 93.3% (318/341).

Conclusions

The high overall seropositivity rate in the absence of routine immunization suggests a continuous transmission of endemic rubella virus in Burkina Faso, posing a threat to non-immune pregnant women.

Keywords:
Rubella; Seroprevalence; IgG; Burkina Faso