Background. Since 2009, various mumps outbreaks have occurred in the Netherlands, affecting mostly young adults vaccinated against mumps. In this retrospective study, we estimated attack rates for symptomatic and asymptomatic mumps virus infection based on mumps-specific immunoglobulin (Ig)G concentrations in paired blood samples obtained before and after the mumps outbreaks, collected in 2 university cities. We aimed to identify a serological correlate of immune protection and risk factors for mumps virus infection. Methods. Mumps-specific IgG levels were measured by Luminex technology in paired pre- and post-outbreak samples from students from Leiden (n = 135) and Utrecht (n = 619). Persons with a 4-fold increase in mumps IgG concentrations or mumps IgG concentrations > 1500 RU/mL were assumed to have had a mumps virus infection. Results. Attack rates for symptomatic and asymptomatic mumps virus infection were 2.0% and 3.8%, respectively. Pre-outbreak mumps-specific IgG concentrations were lower among cases than among noncases (P = .005) despite vaccination history, but no serological cutoff for immune protection could be established. Mumps among housemates was significantly associated with serological evidence for mumps virus infection (odds ratio, 7.25 [95% confidence interval, 3.20-16.40]; P < .001). Conclusions. Symptomatic and asymptomatic mumps virus infections in vaccinated persons can be identified by retrospective assessment of mumps-specific IgG antibodies in blood samples.
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© The Author 2014.