Serostatus of Measles, Mumps, Rubella and Varicella in Healthcare Workers in Oman - (Pages 1-5)

Nawal Al-Kindi, Zaina Al-Maskari, Hanan Al-Kindi and Amina Al-Jardani

Microbiology Department, The Royal Hospital, Muscat, Oman



Seroprevalence studies of Measles, Mumps, Rubella and Varicella (MMRV) in Oman have not been previously reported in health care workers. These vaccine preventable diseases could be introduced into the healthcare setting by healthcare workers (HCW) who may serve as a reservoir for ongoing disease transmission. We conducted seropositivity analyses of IgG antibodies to MMRV in healthcare workers in the Royal Hospital in Muscat, Oman over a 4year period, 2010-2013.

A total of 1914 HCW were included, seropositivity in the study cohort was 88% for Measles; 74% for Mumps; 90% for Rubella; and 89% for Varicella. The highest rate of equivocal results at 7% and seronegativity at 19% was observed for mumps. The mean age of the HCW cohort was 36.72±9.09 years and was comprised of primarily females (83%). Participants born in Oman made up 36% of the cohort, 38.5% were Indian and 17% were born in the Philippines. Analysis of healthcare occupation revealed that the majority were nurses (69%) and 17% were doctors. There was no difference in seroprevalence associated with gender or occupation (p >0.05). However, younger HCW (<34 years) and HCW born outside Oman had higher rates of seronegativity (p<0.001).

Immunity to measles, rubella and varicella is high in HCW in Oman whereas immunity to mumps remains low. The high seronegativity rates observed in non-Omani HCW raises serious concerns such as the importance of determination of immune status of healthcare workers and the need to prevent transmission of vaccine preventable diseases in the healthcare setting.

Keywords: Seroprevalence, MMRV, HCW, Oman.