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Changes in age related seroprevalence of antibody to varicella zoster virus: impact on vaccine strategy


Aim: To study changes in the seroprevalence of varicella zoster virus (VZV) antibody over the past 25 years with a view to determining the target age group for any future vaccination strategy.

Methods: Stored sera collected from different age groups over a period of 25 years were tested by a commercial VZV IgG enzyme immunoassay at a four year time interval. Data were analysed by logistic regression to investigate the evidence for changes in incidence and hence seroprevalence over that period.

Results: There was a significant rise in VZV antibody prevalence in the 1–4 year age group during the study period.

Conclusions: A universal childhood VZV vaccination strategy will need to take account of the increase in incidence of VZV infection in children under the age of 4 years; hence, the suggested target age would be between 12 and 18 months—soon after the disappearance of maternal antibody.

  • varicella zoster virus
  • vaccination
  • target age group
  • CI, confidence interval
  • OR, odds ratio
  • VZV, varicella zoster virus

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