• Seroepidemiology of Measles, Mumps and Rubella on Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba: The First Population-Based Serosurveillance Study in Caribbean Netherlands.

      Vos, Regnerus A; Mollema, Liesbeth; van Binnendijk, Rob; Veldhuijzen, Irene K; Smits, Gaby; Janga-Jansen, Alcira V A; Baboe-Kalpoe, Sharda; Hulshof, Koen; van der Klis, Fiona R M; Melker, Hester E de (2019-10-01)
      The National Immunization Program (NIP) on Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba (i.e., Caribbean Netherlands (CN)) includes the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine since 1988/89. Seroepidemiological data is an important tool to evaluate the NIP, hence a cross-sectional representative population-based serosurveillance study was conducted for the first time in CN in mid-2017. Participants (n = 1829, aged 0-90 years) donated a blood sample and completed a health-related questionnaire. MMR-specific IgG antibodies were determined using a bead-based multiplex immunoassay and risk factors were analyzed using logistic regression models. Overall seroprevalence was high for measles (94%), but lower for mumps and rubella (both 85%). In NIP eligibles, including women of childbearing age, rubella seroprevalence (88%) exceeded the threshold for protection (85%); however, for measles (89%) this protective level (95%) was not met. MMR seropositivity was lowest in children who became CN resident at 11-17 years of age (especially for measles (72%)), mostly originating from Latin America and other non-Western countries. Interestingly, rubella seroprevalence was lowest in non-NIP eligible adults from Dutch overseas territories and Suriname (75%). Taken together, MMR immunity is generally good in CN, nonetheless some risk groups were identified. Additionally, we found evidence for a unique island epidemiology. In light of recent regional measles outbreaks, disease monitoring remains of utmost importance.