The role of laboratory confirmations and molecular epidemiology in global eradication of measles

  • IO Okonko
  • AA Ogun
  • AO Adedeji
  • ET Babalola
  • AO Udeze
  • OB Motayo
  • OG Adewale
  • KN Garba
  • A Fowotade
  • OA Adekolurejo
  • OK Mejeha
Keywords: Active surveillance, elimination, eradication, haemagglutination inhibiting test, measles, measles antigens, molecular epidemiology, phylogenetic trees.


This review reports on the role of laboratory confirmation and molecular epidemiology in global eradication of measles. The role of laboratory confirmation and molecular epidemiology in defining the origins of measles outbreaks cannot be overemphasized. New serological tests based on recombinant proteins detect only a fraction of the total measles virus (MV) specific antibodies. Several assays based on recombinant MV-haemagglutinin (ELISA and flow cytometry) or MV-fusion protein (flow cytometry) as well as neutralization and haemagglutination test have been evaluated using a large panel of lowtitre and negative sera. Isolation of measles virus confirmed the diagnosis. Phylogenetic trees are invaluable tools for monitoring the progress of immunization activities. Recent advances in genomic sequencing technology have lent its support to the monitoring and evaluation of vaccination programmes. More so, indigenous prepared measles antigens has been advocated to be produced, refined further and reproduced massively. This will be highly cost effective especially in field for seromonitoring and surveillance of measles. There is therefore, continual need for simpler diagnostic tests in elimination and eventual eradication of measles.

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eISSN: 1684-5315