High coverage of polio immunization program in refugees resettling in Denmark. A cross-sectional study of polio serology in newly arrived refugees

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Objectives: Wild poliovirus (WPV) infection has been eliminated in Europe through mass immunization. Resettling refugees may lack immunity and importing WPV through refugees continues to cause concerns. Method: We performed a cross-sectional study to establish the prevalence of poliovirus immunity in children and adult refugees resettling in Aarhus, Denmark. Immunity was evaluated by antibody response for serotypes 1, 2, and 3. Results: The participants in this study counted a total of 475 children and adult refugees aged between 6 months and 76 years and 59% were males. The survey was conducted between 2014 and 2016. Among the refugees, 72% were from Syria, and the rest from Eritrea, Congo, Lebanon, Somalia, Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Ethiopia, and Columbia. In the cohort, 27 lacked antibodies against a least one serotype. None of the participants lacked antibodies against all three polio types. Originating from The Horn of Africa, age between 20 and 30 and male gender was associated with lack of immunity. Conclusion: The study found a complete WPV immunity in 94% of recently resettled refugees in Denmark. This study demonstrates a high coverage of the polio immunization program. However, ensuring poliovirus immunity among refugees remains a priority until polio has been eradicated worldwide.

OriginalsprogEngelsk
TidsskriftExpert Review of Vaccines
Vol/bind18
Nummer12
Sider (fra-til)1317-1322
ISSN1476-0584
DOI
StatusUdgivet - dec. 2019

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