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Year : 2016  |  Volume : 143  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 227-231

Measles & rubella outbreaks in Maharashtra State, India

WHO Accredited National Measles Reference Laboratory, National Institute of Virology (ICMR), Pune, India

Correspondence Address:
Sunil R Vaidya
WHO Accredited National Measles Reference Laboratory, National Institute of Virology (ICMR), 20-A, Dr Ambedkar Road, Post Box 11, Pune 411 001, Maharashtra
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0971-5916.180214

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Background & objectives: Under the outbreak-based measles surveillance in Maharashtra State the National Institute of Virology at Pune receives 3-5 serum samples from each outbreak and samples from the local hospitals in Pune for laboratory diagnosis. This report describes one year data on the measles and rubella serology, virus isolation and genotyping. Methods: Maharashtra State Health Agencies investigated 98 suspected outbreaks between January-December 2013 in the 20 districts. Altogether, 491 serum samples were received from 20 districts and 126 suspected cases from local hospitals. Samples were tested for the measles and rubella IgM antibodies by commercial enzyme immunoassay (EIA). To understand the diagnostic utility, a subset of serum samples (n=53) was tested by measles focus reduction neutralization test (FRNT). Further, 37 throat swabs and 32 urine specimens were tested by measles reverse transcription (RT)-PCR and positive products were sequenced. Virus isolation was performed in Vero hSLAM cells. Results: Of the 98 suspected measles outbreaks, 61 were confirmed as measles, 12 as rubella and 21 confirmed as the mixed outbreaks. Four outbreaks remained unconfirmed. Of the 126 cases from the local hospitals, 91 were confirmed for measles and three for rubella. Overall, 93.6 per cent (383/409) confirmed measles cases were in the age group of 0-15 yr. Measles virus was detected in 18 of 38 specimens obtained from the suspected cases. Sequencing of PCR products revealed circulation of D4 (n=9) and D8 (n=9) strains. Four measles viruses (three D4 & one D8) were isolated. Interpretation & conclusions: Altogether, 94 measles and rubella outbreaks were confirmed in 2013 in the State of Maharasthra indicating the necessity to increase measles vaccine coverage in the State.

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