Evaluation of tetanus antibody levels in adults in Yozgat, Turkey


Abstract: Background/aim: To assess the immune status against tetanus in relation to self-declared vaccination status among an adult population in Yozgat, Turkey. Methods: Questionnaires and blood specimens were collected from 267 individuals over 18 years of age in Yozgat, Turkey. Antitetanus antibodies were determined quantitatively by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Results: Among the 267 subjects (mean age 43.4 ± 15.6; male:female, 133:134) 168 (62.9%) had protective level of tetanus antibody titers. There was a characteristic distribution of the tetanus antibody titers in different age groups as it dropped with increasing age. Protective immunity was obtained in 74.1% of urban and 47.9% of rural participants. The lowest immunity was observed among farmers (53.3%) and housewives (55.6%) when compared to other occupations. Protective antibody titers were detected in 25% of the individuals who had not finished any school, while the rate was 83.7% in those who had graduated from university. While the protection rate in women who had been vaccinated during pregnancy was 78.3%, this rate was 39.2% in nonvaccinated women. Conclusion: Our findings confirm that only 62.9% of the population is immunized against tetanus, with a lack of coverage in particular for the elderly and in rural areas. It is necessary to follow the recommendations for 10-year boosters for tetanus.

Keywords: Tetanus, immunity, Yozgat, Turkey

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