Seroprevalence of varicella‐zoster virus infection in children from Cochabamba: tropical or temperate pattern?
To determine the seroprevalence of varicella‐zoster viral (VZV) infections in schoolchildren from the Cochabamba region (Bolivia), and its association with socio‐demographic variables, socio‐economic status and geographical location.
Seroepidemiological survey (n = 436) on VZV of schoolchildren living in the Cochabamba region of Bolivia in 2010. An ELISA test was used to measure varicella antibodies. Parents or guardians completed a questionnaire regarding socio‐demographic information (age, gender, living area, parental educational level, presence of siblings and number of family members in the household), and a blood sample was collected from each child to check for VZV antibodies. A descriptive and bivariate analysis was performed.
The global prevalence of VZV was 78.2% (95% CI 74.3–82.1). It was higher in females (82.1%), pre‐adolescents (aged 10.1–13 years: 81.4%) and adolescents (aged >13 years: 80.2%), in children with less well‐educated parents (81.3% to 81.6%), in warmer municipalities (81.4% to 82.2%), in rural areas (80.0%), in children with siblings (80.1%), those who although the latter association was not statistically significant.
The prevalence of VZV infection in childhood was relatively high for a tropical country, and much closer to that of temperate countries prior to the introduction of varicella vaccine into vaccination programmes.
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 01 March 2013