The epidemiology of Varicella Zoster Virus infection in Italy

Anna Giammanco, De Simone, Caciagli, Paolo Bonanni, Campa, Cavallaro, Marsella, Casentino, Ciamarra, Passerini, Piscione, Tagliatatela, Camper, Genna, Lolli, Sforza, Pietro Crovari, De Simone, Simula, BassettiGrandesso, Rizza, Marchetti, Martelli, Caciagli, Palladino, Caciagli, Mucignat, Sara Boccalini, Luigi Clerico, Antonella De Donno, Perani, Angela Bechini, Tronci, Marta L. Ciofi Degli Atti, Giammanco, Maria C. Rota, Rollo, Giovanni Gabutti, Icardi, Danilo Villalta, Antonino Bella, Goglio, Focà, Marcello Guido, Giancotti, Favero, Caraccio

Risultato della ricerca: Articlepeer review

38 Citazioni (Scopus)


Background: The epidemiological importance of varicella and zoster and the availability of anefficacious and safe vaccine have led to an important international debate regarding the suitabilityof mass vaccination. The objective of the study was to describe the epidemiology of varicella andzoster in Italy and to determine whether there have been changes with respect to observationsprovided by an analogous study conducted 8 years ago, in order to define the most appropriatevaccination strategy.Methods: A number of data sources were evaluated, a cross-sectional population-basedseroprevalence study was conducted on samples collected in 2004, and the results were comparedwith data obtained in 1996.Results: The data from active and passive surveillance systems confirm that varicella is awidespread infectious disease which mainly affects children. VZV seroprevalence did notsubstantially differ from that found in the previous study. The sero-epidemiological profile in Italyis different from that in other European countries. In particular, the percentage of susceptibleadolescents is at least nearly twice as high as in other European countries and in the age group 20–39 yrs, approximately 9% of individuals are susceptible to VZV.Conclusion: The results of this study can contribute to evaluating the options for varicellavaccination. It is possible that in a few years, in all Italian Regions, there will exist the conditionsnecessary for implementing a mass vaccination campaign and that the large-scale availability ofMMRV tetravalent vaccines will facilitate mass vaccination
Lingua originaleEnglish
Numero di pagine9
RivistaBMC Public Health
Stato di pubblicazionePublished - 2008

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