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

Stefania Bruno, Stefania Boccia, Gianfranco Damiani, Gualtiero Ricciardi, Stefania Donno, Bruno Federico, Maria Donata Monteduro, Mohammad Arif Oryakhail, Donno Stefania, Federico Bruno, Geraci Salvatore, Maisano Bianca, Monteduro Maria Donata, Oryakhail Arif

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Background: During the period May 2004 – December 2005 a serum epidemiological survey for preventable diseases through compulsory vaccination in Italy (diphtheria, tetanus, poliovirus, and 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. Methods: Serological exams were carried out by Elisa test (for rubella, tetanus, diphtheria and hepatitis B) and by neutralizing antibody titration (Poliovirus). Both descriptive analyses and inferential statistics (hypothesis tests) were used. Results: Out of 667 immigrants who were invited, 318 of them participated in the study (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. Among Eastern European subjects, Poliovirus vaccination coverage was lower than 70%. With regard to rubella, African women had the lowest coverage (87.5%). Only 2.8% was vaccinated against hepatitis B. Over half of immigrants were healthy carriers for HBV. Conclusions: Our results underline the unexpressed health needs of the migrant population. European countries should pay more attention to promote immigrants’ health since their entrance in the new communities.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e9959-1-e9959-9
Number of pages9
JournalEpidemiology Biostatistics and Public Health
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • Immigrants’health
  • Serum–epidemiological survey
  • Vaccination coverage
  • Vaccinations


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