The seroepidemiology of measles in Western Europe

H. De Melker, R. G. Pebody*, W. J. Edmunds, D. Lévy-Bruhl, M. Valle, M. C. Rota, S. Salmaso, S. Van Den Hof, G. Berbers, P. Saliou, M. Conyn-Van Spaendonck, P. Crovari, I. Davidkin, G. Gabutti, L. Hesketh, P. Morgan-Capner, A. M. Plesner, M. Raux, A. Tischer, E. Miller

*Corresponding author for this work

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61 Citations (Scopus)


The European Regional Office of WHO has targeted measles for elimination from the region in 2007. Large national, age and sex stratified serological surveys of measles antibody were conducted in seven Western European countries from 1994-8 as part of the European Sero-epidemiology Network. Three patterns were observed in the country-specific measles seroprofiles, ranging from (very) low susceptibility (four countries) to high susceptibility (one country). Susceptibility levels amongst 2-4-year-olds ranged from 2.9 to 29.8%, in 5-9-year-olds from 2.5 to 25% and 10-19-year-olds from 2.1% to 13.9%. A country's susceptibility profile was highly associated with vaccine coverage for the first dose. First dose coverage ranged from 91 to 97.5% for low susceptibility countries, 75 to 85% for intermediate susceptibility countries and 55% for the high susceptibility country. Only the high susceptibility country still reports epidemic measles. In low susceptibility countries, which have achieved or are very close to measles elimination, the priority will be to maintain high MMR vaccine coverage in all geopolitical units for both vaccine doses. In moderate susceptibility countries.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)249-259
Number of pages11
JournalEpidemiology and Infection
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2001


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