From November 1998 to December 2000, 84 suspected measles cases were reported in Catalonia (6 090 040 inhabitants). Of the 73 laboratory tested cases (87%), 20 showed IgM antibodies specific to measles and 3 were epidemiologically linked to a confirmed case. Among these 23 confirmed cases, 13 were indigenous, the last two cases reported dating back from June 1999 and July 2000. These results confirm the success of the measles elimination programme implemented in 1998 in Catalonia.
Determination of antibody levels against vaccine-preventable diseases is of great value to assess immunization programmes. The objective of this study was to determine the prevalence of measles, rubella, and mumps antibodies in representative samples of the child and adult population of Catalonia and compare the findings to those obtained in 1996. A representative sample of the child and adult (>or=15 years) population of Catalonia was studied. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay techniques were used to determine the presence of antibodies. Equivocal results for antibodies against measles and rubella were tested using an immunofluorescence technique. To compare proportions, the chi-square test and the Fisher's exact test were used. Statistical significance was set at 0.05. Adjusted odds ratios were calculated using multiple logistic regression analysis. Samples from 2,619 people were analyzed. The global prevalence of antibodies was 98.3% for measles, 91.1% for mumps, and 98.1% for rubella. The prevalence of rubella antibodies was higher in women than in men (98.8 vs. 97.2%, respectively). Compared with the results obtained in the 1996 seroprevalence study, only the prevalence of rubella antibodies showed a statistically significant increase in men (97.2 vs. 94.6%; p=0.002) and, in particular, in women (98.8 vs. 95.3%; p
Vaccination coverage in a representative sample of children under 3 years of age in Catalonia (Spain) was studied. Parents of children selected were contacted and asked for the child's vaccination card. A total of 630 children were included, of whom 570 were indigenous and 60 immigrants. Primary vaccination coverage was 96.5% for indigenous and 85% for immigrant children (p=0.0001), while the coverage of primary vaccination plus booster doses was 88.6% in indigenous and 78.3% in immigrant children (p=0.02). Efforts should be made to increase primary vaccination coverage in immigrant children and booster dose coverage in both indigenous and immigrant children.