Benefits and challenges in using seroprevalence data to inform models for measles and rubella elimination

Amy K. Winter, Micaela E. Martinez, Felicity T. Cutts, William J. Moss, Matt J. Ferrari, Amalie Mckee, Justin Lessler, Kyla Hayford, Jacco Wallinga, C. Jess E. Metcalf

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations


Background Control efforts for measles and rubella are intensifying globally. It becomes increasingly important to identify and reach remaining susceptible populations as elimination is approached. Methods Serological surveys for measles and rubella can potentially measure susceptibility directly, but their use remains rare. In this study, using simulations, we outline key subtleties in interpretation associated with the dynamic context of age-specific immunity, highlighting how the patterns of immunity predicted from disease surveillance and vaccination coverage data may be misleading. Results High-quality representative serosurveys could provide a more accurate assessment of immunity if challenges of conducting, analyzing, and interpreting them are overcome. We frame the core disease control and elimination questions that could be addressed by improved serological tools, discussing challenges and suggesting approaches to increase the feasibility and sustainability of the tool. Conclusions Accounting for the dynamical context, serosurveys could play a key role in efforts to achieve and sustain elimination.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)355-364
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Infectious Diseases
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Infectious Diseases
  • Immunology and Allergy


  • elimination
  • measles
  • rubella
  • serology
  • serosurvey


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