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Seroprevalence of rubella-specific IgM and IgG antibodies among pregnant women in a Catholic Hospital in Yaoundé, Cameroon

Anna Aret Eno
Louise Stéphanie Makemgue
Daves Stéphane Tonye III
Cheikh Saad Bouh Boye
Abdoulaye Seck
Raymond Bercion
Christelle Vauloup Fellous
Louis Albert Tchuem Tchuente


Rubella virus (RV) infection is responsible of an unresolved clinical complication that affects newborns and children. During the first trimester of pregnancy, it often causes severe birth defects known as congenital rubella syndrome (CRS). This study reports the seroprevalence of the RV-specific IgM and IgG antibodies, its relationship with the duration of pregnancy and past history of abortion in pregnant women at Yaoundé in order to help strategies to eliminate rubella and to prevent Congenital Rubella Syndrome (CRS) in Cameroon. Four Hundred (400) pregnant women were screened for rubella immunoglobulins G (IgG) and M (IgM), using the chemiluminescent microparticle immunoassay for the detection of IgG and IgM antibodies on the ARCHITECT i system at the Laboratory of Medical Analysis of Pasteur Institute, Senegal. Out of the400 pregnant women tested, 367 (91.75%) were positive for RV-IgG while only 5 (1.25%) were positive for RV-IgM. A higher number of pregnant women in the first trimester of pregnancy tested positive for IgG (91.8%). None of the possible risk factors were significantly associated with infection. The presence of rubella RV-IgM and RV-IgG in pregnant women predisposes babies to CRS and emphasizes on the initiation of a vaccination policy of those who are susceptible in Cameroon.

Keywords: Antibodies, Cameroon, pregnant women, rubella, seroprevalence.