Original Articles

Serum-epidemiological survey in a group of illegal immigrates for the evaluation of immunity against vaccine-preventable diseases in Italy.



During the period May 2004 – December 2005 a serum epidemiological survey for preventable diseases through compulsory vaccination in Italy (diphtheria, tetanus, poliovirus, hepatitis B) and rubella in women was performed in a group of adult and illegal immigrants living in Rome, to evaluate the relationship between vaccination coverage and socio-demographic characteristics.


It was carried out by Elisa test (for rubella, tetanus, diphtheria and hepatitis B) and by neutralizing antibody titration (Poliovirus).

Both descriptive analyses (calculation of mean, median, standard deviation, percentage) and inferential statistics (hypothesis tests) were used.


Six hundred and sixty-seven immigrants were invited to participate and 318 of them performed the analysis (participation rate = 47.6 %).

The percentages of immunized individuals were: 39.1% for diphtheria (basic immunization 59.3%), 74.8% for tetanus, 74.1% for poliomyelitis, and 94.7% for rubella. Only 2.8% was vaccinated against hepatitis B.


Most immigrants would need a booster dose for diphtheria and tetanus. Among Eastern European subjects Poliovirus vaccination coverage was lower than 70%, implying that the maintenance of high levels of it is strongly necessary. With regard to rubella, African women had the lowest coverage (87.5%) and their young age exposes to congenital rubella. Over half of immigrants were healthy carriers for HBV.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.2427/9959


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EBPH Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Public Health | ISSN 2282-0930

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