Serosurvey for polio and other vaccine-preventable diseases

The Ministry of Health of Tajikistan, in partnership with WHO and the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), is conducting a serosurvey to assess the level of population immunity to polio and other vaccine-preventable diseases, such as diphtheria, tetanus, measles and rubella.

The serosurvey is taking place in September–October 2010 and includes a representative sample of the population. A total of 2900 serum specimens will be collected from survey participants in all regions of Tajikistan.

These specimens will be tested for antibodies against all three types of poliovirus (by the Poliovirus Laboratory, CDC, Atlanta, Unites States), diphtheria and tetanus (by the Health Protection Agency, London, United Kingdom), and measles and rubella (by the National Measles and Rubella Laboratory, Dushanbe, Tajikistan).

The survey design allows the evaluation of nationwide seroprevalence by age group and the assessment of potential differences between regions for all age groups combined. The results will be instrumental in making strategic decisions about further immunization efforts in Tajikistan.

The survey has begun: training for field team leaders and coordinators was held on 7 September 2010, while specimen collection started on 14 September.