Nevin Manimala Statistics

Rubella virus IgM and IgG antibodies with avidity in pregnant women and outcomes at a tertiary facility in Ghana

PLoS One. 2022 Dec 30;17(12):e0279733. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0279733. eCollection 2022.


BACKGROUND: Congenital rubella syndrome (CRS) is a recognised cause of childhood deafness and blindness caused by the transplacental transmission of rubella virus during pregnancy. Women in the reproductive age group, and by extension their unborn babies may therefore be at increased risk. The prevalence of Rubella virus specific IgM and IgG antibodies, including IgG avidity, was determined in pregnant women attending the antenatal clinic at a Teaching Hospital in Ghana.

METHODS: One hundred and forty-five women in their second and third trimesters of pregnancy from the outpatient clinic were recruited over a period of 2 months after written informed consent was obtained. Study participants completed a questionnaire and venous blood drawn for IgM, IgG, and avidity testing using SERION ELISA (SERION® Immunologics, Würzburg, Germany). Babies of mothers with positive or indeterminate IgM and low avidity IgG antibodies were offered specialist cardiological, ophthalmological or hearing assessment during follow up.

RESULTS: One hundred and twenty-eight (88.3%) had only IgG antibodies, 5 (3.4%) had IgM and IgG antibodies, while 12 (8.3%) had no antibodies. No patient had IgM antibodies alone. Ten women (6.9%) had indeterminate levels of IgM antibodies. Majority of the women had high avidity IgG antibodies, while 5 (3.4%) had low avidity antibodies. No patient had IgM with low avidity antibodies. There was no statistical association between socio-demographic factors and the presence of IgM, IgG (low or high avidity) antibodies. Of all the children followed, none had the clinical definition of CRS.

CONCLUSIONS: Consistent with the World Health Organization elimination strategy for measles and rubella viruses, non-immune women in the reproductive age group should be vaccinated. The immunization programme should be expanded to include teenagers and adults. Though Congenital Rubella Syndrome was not detected, the risk still remains.

PMID:36584202 | DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0279733

By Nevin Manimala

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