A mumps outbreak in Vojvodina, Serbia, in 2012 underlines the need for additional vaccination opportunities for young adults.
- Clinical and Applied Virology
In 2012, mumps was introduced from Bosnia and Herzegovina to Vojvodina, causing an outbreak with 335 reported cases. The present manuscript analyses the epidemiological and laboratory characteristics of this outbreak, identifies its main causes and suggests potential future preventive measures. Sera of 133 patients were tested for mumps-specific antibodies by ELISA and 15 nose/throat swabs were investigated for mumps virus RNA by RT-PCR. IgG antibodies were found in 127 patients (95.5%). Mumps infection was laboratory-confirmed in 53 patients, including 44 IgM and 9 PCR positive cases. All other 282 cases were classified as epidemiologically-confirmed. More than half of the patients (n = 181, 54%) were 20-29 years old, followed by the 15-19 age bracket (n = 95, 28.4%). Twice as many males as females were affected (67% versus 33%). Disease complications were reported in 13 cases (3.9%), including 9 patients with orchitis and 4 with pancreatitis. According to medical records or anamnestic data, 190 patients (56.7%) were immunized with two doses and 35 (10.4%) with one dose of mumps-containing vaccine. The Serbian sequences corresponded to a minor genotype G variant detected during the 2011/2012 mumps outbreak in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Vaccine failures, the initial one-dose immunization policy and a vaccine shortage between 1999 and 2002 contributed to the outbreak. Additional vaccination opportunities should be offered to young adults during transition periods in their life trajectories.