Association between rubella seropositivity and parity among reproductive-aged women in Kenya
Background: Rubella virus infection in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy causes miscarriages, stillbirths or fetal anomalies known as congenital rubella syndrome. Factors associated with rubella immunity include age and parity. No studies have been done to isolate the association of parity independent of age.
Objective: To evaluate the association between rubella IgG seropositivity and parity among women of the same age group attending the Aga Khan University Hospital (AKUH), Nairobi, Kenya.
Methods: A cross-sectional study of women attending AKUH. Eligible participants were women aged between 30 and 34 years, recruited sequentially. The rubella IgG antibody was tested using a commercial ELISA Kit. Fischer exact test and Chi square was used to compare the two groups. Logistic regression was used to explore the association.
Results: A total of 300 women who fulfilled the inclusion criteria were enrolled into the study. The overall rubella seroprevalence was 87%. There was no difference in seropositivity by parity and place of birth. None of the socio-demographic and obstetrical factors included in the study questionnaire were associated with seropositivity for rubella in the univariate and multivariate analysis.
Conclusions: A significant number of women of childbearing age were susceptible to rubella virus and subsequent CRS. Seropositivity did not correlate with the socio-demographic and obstetrical factors. Regular rubella testing and promotion of wider coverage of vaccination is recommended since there seems to be no benefit in selective targeting of vaccination.
Keywords: Rubella, Congenital Rubella Syndrome, Sero-prevalence, Nairobi, Kenya
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