Measles, rubella, mumps, and varicella seroprevalence among health care workers in Turkey: is prevaccination screening cost-effective?

Am J Infect Control. 2006 Nov;34(9):583-7. doi: 10.1016/j.ajic.2006.04.213.


Background: To investigate the immune status of health care workers (HCWs) against measles, rubella, mumps, and varicella zoster (MMRV) in Turkey and to define an appropriate vaccination program among HCWs.

Methods: Voluntary HCWs from a children's hospital and a general hospital were included in the study between March and May 2005. The specific IgG antibodies against MMRV viruses were screened by ELISA.

Results: Three hundred sixty-three HCWs participated in the study; 186 (51%) were physicians, 118 (33%) were nurses, 36 (10%) were housekeeping staff, and 23 (6%) were medical technicians. The proportion of HCWs who had antibodies against measles was 98.6%; rubella, 98.3%; mumps, 92.2%; and varicella, 98%. No association was found between the susceptibility to at least 1 of MMRV virus infections and gender, age, duration of work, profession, and department of work in analysis either among the whole study group, or each hospital. The positive predictive value for the history of varicella was 100%, whereas it was 92% for MMR. The cost of vaccination for varicella was significantly expensive without screening before vaccination. However, there was not much difference for MMR infections.

Conclusion: A policy based on obtaining the history of varicella infection from the staff and then screening the ones with negative history and vaccination of only seronegative HCWs was found to be appropriate.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Chickenpox / epidemiology
  • Chickenpox / immunology*
  • Chickenpox Vaccine / economics*
  • Chickenpox Vaccine / immunology
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Health Personnel*
  • Hospitals, General
  • Hospitals, Pediatric
  • Humans
  • Immunization Programs / economics
  • Immunoglobulin G / analysis
  • Male
  • Mass Screening
  • Measles / epidemiology
  • Measles / immunology*
  • Measles-Mumps-Rubella Vaccine / economics*
  • Measles-Mumps-Rubella Vaccine / immunology
  • Middle Aged
  • Mumps / epidemiology
  • Mumps / immunology*
  • Rubella / epidemiology
  • Rubella / immunology*
  • Seroepidemiologic Studies
  • Turkey / epidemiology


  • Chickenpox Vaccine
  • Immunoglobulin G
  • Measles-Mumps-Rubella Vaccine