Rubella immunity rates in women of childbearing age in an urban teaching hospital
Rubella is a highly contagious viral infection that can cause devastating effects on a growing fetus. Although rubella can be prevented with the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine, some individuals have a weak immune response and do not sustain an adequate antibody titer to protect against the disease. MMR antibody titers are not routinely assessed in the general population, although healthcare professionals, military workers and pregnant women are commonly screened. This study aimed to investigate rubella immunity rates in primiparous women. The authors believed that the nonimmunity rate would be substantial enough to justify potential rubella immunity screening in all women of childbearing age at annual gynecologic exams prior to pregnancy. Findings recommend obtaining a rubella titer, as well as a measles titer, when women present for their first gynecological visit.