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Rubella Virus (RV) causes a mild disease, but maternal infection early in pregnancy often leads to birth defects known as congenital rubella syndrome (CRS). Rubella remains poorly controlled in Africa despite being a vaccine preventable disease. The aim of this study were to determine the survey for rubella virus and antibodies among pregnant women in Kaduna State Nigeria. The study wascarried out on pregnant womenattending ante-natal clinic in three different senatorial district in Kaduna State from the year 2013-2014.Bloodserum samples from 900 pregnant women were screened for rubella IgM and IgG antibody usingenzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA).The risk factors associated with rubella virus transmission among these pregnant women were identified. Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR), and gene sequencing were used to confirm the presence of rubella virus in the serum sample.Of the 900 pregnant women screened, 572(63.1%) were positive for rubella IgG and 39(4.3%) were positive for rubella IgM. The prevalence of rubella IgG was highest among the age group 41-45 years old (83.3%) and IgM was highest among the age group 21-25 years old (6.1%).The IgG test results shows that out of the 497 pregnant women enrolled in their first trimester,273 (54.9%) pregnant women tested positive,while the IgM positive results shows 24(4.8%) in their first trimester. Although the southern senatorial district had the highest sero-prevalence 14(35.9%) among the three centres, the differences were not statistically significant (p=0.05). Only three people claimed to have been vaccinated against rubella virus and these people were negative for rubella. Acquisition of secondary education and being a house wife were insignificantly associated (p=0.05).The serological evidence of rubella virus found in pregnant women in this study is an indication that rubella is prevalent in Kaduna State, Nigeria. It is however still necessary to immunize seronegative women against rubella before they get pregnant

1.0 Background of the Study

1.1 Rubella Virus

Rubella virus (RV) causes a benign systemic rash illness when it infects humans as a result of acute infection and causes severe birth defects if acute maternal infection occurs during the first trimester of pregnancy(Willey et al., 2011). This virus is a positive-strand RNA virus that replicates in the cytoplasm of the infected cell. Rubella virus is taxonomically unique, being the sole member of the genus Rubivirus of the familyTogaviridae (Brooks et al., 2007). The rubella virus causes “German measles,” also known as “three-day measles”(Bukbuk et al., 2002), this is usually a milder disease than red measles. Infections occur most commonly in children and the resulting natural immunity is most probably lifelong (Matthews et al., 2011). However, in pregnant women the risk of intrauterine transmission is up to 90% if infection occurs in early pregnancy (8-10 weeks gestation). As the viraemia leads to placental infection and spread of the virus, it causes a chronic infection of the foetus leading to the development of congenital rubella syndrome (CRS) (Matthews et al., 2011).Red/Hard measles or just measles is caused by Rubeola virus.


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