Seroprevalence of antibodies against measles, rubella, mumps, varicella-zoster, and B. Pertussis in young adults of Madrid, Spain

Hum Vaccin Immunother. 2013 Sep;9(9):1918-25. doi: 10.4161/hv.25127. Epub 2013 Jun 21.


In recent years, there has been an increase in the number of cases of certain immunopreventable diseases in our country. A high proportion of these have been recorded among the young adult population. The aim of this study was to determine the seroprevalence of antibodies against immunopreventable diseases with the greatest health impacts on the young adult population (19-39 y of age) in Madrid. We collected a total of 1,153 serum samples from healthy volunteers undergoing routine medical visits and used ELISA to determine the presence of IgG antibodies against measles, rubella, mumps, and varicella zoster, as well as Bordetella pertussis. The Pearson's χ(2) test was used to compare prevalences, the Mann-Whitney U test was used to compare means, and the Kruskal-Wallis test was applied for variables with more than 2 categories. Statistical significance was achieved with p values of<0.05. The global prevalence of antibodies was 92.1% for measles, 94.4% for rubella, 88.3% for mumps, 92.8% for varicella zoster, and 70.2% for B. pertussis. No statistically significant differences were found between genders. The prevalence of antibodies against measles was more than 95% in the group of individuals born after 1986, and the percentage of individuals susceptible to rubella was less than 5% in women born after 1986. In spite of adequate vaccination coverage, in our region, a population of young adults exists who have not achieved the objectives of the WHO for the elimination of measles and congenital rubella syndrome.

Keywords: B. Pertussis; Varicela-Zoster Virus; measles; mumps; rubella; seroprevalence; young adults.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antibodies, Bacterial / blood*
  • Antibodies, Viral / blood*
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Female
  • Healthy Volunteers
  • Herpes Zoster / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin G / blood
  • Male
  • Measles / immunology*
  • Mumps / immunology*
  • Rubella / immunology*
  • Seroepidemiologic Studies
  • Spain
  • Vaccination / statistics & numerical data
  • Whooping Cough / immunology*
  • Young Adult


  • Antibodies, Bacterial
  • Antibodies, Viral
  • Immunoglobulin G