Seroepidemiology of Varicella and value of self-reported history of Varicella infection in Iranian medical students
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Department of Infectious Diseases, Faculty of Medicine, Qazvin University of Medical Sciences, Qazvin, Iran
Department of Community Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
Next to Milad Tower, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Hemmat Express way, Tehran, Iran
Department of General Medicine, Qazvin University of Medical Sciences, Qazvin, Iran
Int J Occup Med Environ Health. 2014;27(2):304-13
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.
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