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Journal Articles International Journal of Epidemiology Year : 1984

Measles epidemiology in Italy.

R. Santoro
  • Function : Author
F. M. Ruggeri
  • Function : Author
M. Rapicetta
  • Function : Author
M. E. Grandolfo
  • Function : Author
C. M. Cortellessa
  • Function : Author


In preparation for a mass vaccination programme, the immune status with regard to measles was determined in over 8300 unvaccinated children aged 0-13 years, residing in eight Italian cities with different socioeconomic situations and geographical locations. The age corresponding to the 50% prevalence of immunes appeared to be intermediate (2.9-5.5 years) between that reported for industrialized (6-7 years) and developing countries (1-2 years). The 50% prevalence of natural immunity was reached at an earlier age in southern cities in which poorer socioeconomic and hygienic conditions prevailed; the earlier occurrence of measles in these areas was confirmed by a more detailed serological study of children in the first 24 months of life. For children aged 2-13 years, serological results showed that the history of measles reported by parents on questionnaires gave high positive predictive values (over 85%). Our seroepidemiological study shows that, on the basis of the ages of 25 and 75% prevalence of immunes, the target population for a mass immunization programme in Italy can be assumed to be aged from 12 months to 7 years. However, special attention should be given to the poorest areas, especially in southern Italy, where measles occurs earlier and can be particularly severe.
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Dates and versions

hal-00596571 , version 1 (27-05-2011)


  • HAL Id : hal-00596571 , version 1
  • PUBMED : 6735566


R. Santoro, F. M. Ruggeri, M. Battaglia, M. Rapicetta, M. E. Grandolfo, et al.. Measles epidemiology in Italy.. International Journal of Epidemiology, 1984, 13 (2), pp.201-9. ⟨hal-00596571⟩
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