Measles and rubella are infectious diseases and humans are the only reservoir of these infections. Effective vaccines are available with the potential for measles (MV) and rubella (RuV) virus eradication. According to the World Health Organisation guidelines, a national plan was approved in Italy in 2013 to achieve the MV/RuV elimination by 2015, and active MV/RuV integrated surveillance initiated. Towards this purpose, a regional laboratory centre was set up on 1 September 2013 in Lombardy, Northern Italy. This paper aimed at: (1) evaluating measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine coverage and MV/RuV notified cases retrospectively; and (2) presenting the results of MV/RuV integrated surveillance (laboratory confirmed and viral genetic profiles). The 95% target for MMR vaccine coverage was achieved in 2001, and coverage increased until 2007 (96.6%), but then a decreasing trend was observed. Since 2000 to 2014, 3026 rubella cases were notified, with nearly 58% of them in the 2002 epidemic. From 2009, less than 45 RuV cases per year were reported. From 2000 to 2014, 5024 measles cases were notified. Since 2008, three large outbreaks (in 2008, 2011, and 2013) were observed. From data obtained during our surveillance activity, there were no rubella cases, and 57.5% (46/80) collected samples were MV-positive by real-time RT-PCR. A fragment of the MV N gene was sequenced from 37 MV-positive samples; D8, D9, and B3 genotypes were detected. Data obtained retrospectively and from active surveillance underline the necessity to achieve and maintain high vaccination coverage and to improve surveillance and the effectiveness of healthcare actions.
- Measles and rubella integrated surveillance
- MMR vaccine
- Vaccine coverage
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy