Rubella antibodies in cord blood sera in Portugal

Association with maternal age and vaccination status

J. Frade, C. Nunes, J. R. Mesquita, M. São José Nascimento, Guillherme Gonçalves

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This study evaluated the impact of maternal vaccination against rubella on the levels of specific rubella IgG (rIgG) in 198 newborn cord sera samples. Detailed maternal vaccination data were available. Specific rIgG was measured using a commercial enzyme immunoassay. Most mothers (78.8%) had been vaccinated against rubella at least once in their lives. In 15 (7.6%) cord sera samples, the concentration of specific rIgG was below 11 IU/ml, which was classified as seronegative. Statistical analysis using multiple logistic regression (n = 198) showed that newborns of mothers born between 1986 and 1995, and those born to unvaccinated mothers, were more likely to be seronegative (odds ratio (ORs) 5.2 and 4.9, respectively, adjusted for sex and gestational age). For vaccinated mothers (n = 156), those born between 1986 and 1995 were more likely to have seronegative newborns (OR 11.5 adjusting for sex, gestational age and time since last vaccination). Mothers of the 15 (7.6%) seronegative newborns might have been susceptible to rubella during pregnancy. Checking the vaccination status therefore recommended.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)600-605
Number of pages6
JournalEpidemiology and Infection
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2018



  • Immunisation (vaccination)
  • MMR vaccination
  • rubella
  • serology

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