ORIGINAL PAPER
Seroepidemiology of Varicella and value of self-reported history of Varicella infection in Iranian medical students
Abbas Allami 1
,  
Navid Mohammadi 2, 3  
,  
 
 
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1
Department of Infectious Diseases, Faculty of Medicine, Qazvin University of Medical Sciences, Qazvin, Iran
2
Department of Community Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
3
Next to Milad Tower, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Hemmat Express way, Tehran, Iran
4
Department of General Medicine, Qazvin University of Medical Sciences, Qazvin, Iran
 
Int J Occup Med Environ Health 2014;27(2):304–313
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ABSTRACT
Objectives: We conducted this study to assess the seroprevalence of Varicella zoster virus (VZV) antibodies in a group of Iranian medical sciences students that were at risk of Varicella and the value of self-reported history as a predictor of immunity. Material and Methods: 255 medical, nursing and obstetrics students who had not entered as a student or worked in a hospital from 3 different schools were enrolled in the study in 2012 (Qazvin province, Iran). Demographics and other information as well as the history of Varicella were obtained through a self-administered questionnaire. Blood samples were collected to determine the Varicella IgG levels via an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. A statistical analysis was performed by calculating prevalences and their 95% confidence intervals. Sensitivity, specificity, positive and negative predictive values, Cohen's kappa and positive and negative likelihood ratios of recalled history were determined. p < 0.05 was considered statistically significant. Results: The mean age of participants was 21.3±4.3 years. Seropositivity rate was 74.5%. The relationships between marital status, number of family members, and acquired VZV history with immunity against the virus were statistically significant. The overall rate of reported history was 57%. The positive and negative predictive values of self-reported history of Varicella were 91% and 47.3%, respectively. Conclusions: Immunization of students of Iranian medical sciences seems logical in the near future. Also, they should be tested for Varicella immunity regardless of the history of previous infection.
eISSN:1896-494X
ISSN:1232-1087