Seroprevalence of Varicella-Zoster Virus Immunoglobulin Mu (IgM) Antibodies among Women in Part of North-Central Nigeria

Chicken pox is a unexpected onset, very contagious disease that is categorized by a widespread, blister-like rash. It naturally infects children in moderate regions; grown-ups are more often sick in humid areas. Chicken pox is caused by the varicella-zoster virus, a type of herpesvirus. This survey was carried out to determine the seroprevalence of varicella IgM antibody among women in part of North Central Nigeria, and to estimate the risk of varicella- zoster virus (VZV) infection in this group. We obtained blood samples from the study subjects along with demographic information, immunization records, and vaccinepreventable disease history. Serum samples were tested using a wholevirus IgM VZV-specific commercial enzyme- linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) kit. Overall, 180 women, were interviewed, with 179 providing adequate blood samples. The overall seroprevalence of varicella IgM antibodies was 50.3%, ranging from 42.2% in Abuja to 53.6% in Niger and 66.7% in Benue. These results demonstrate a high prevalence of varicella seronegativity among women population studied. We recommend introducing improved education about varicella among groups and growing vaccination program or repetitive testing for serum varicella antibody to avoid VZV- related injury and mortality, mainly in adolescents, adult, and women of childbearing age.

Author(s): Yusuf Hussaini, Salawu E Murtala and Abubakar Suleiman

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