The end of measles and congenital rubella: an achievable dream?

Tuesday, 10th of January 2017 Print

Ann Ig. 2017 Jan-Feb;29(1):1-26. doi: 10.7416/ai.2017.2128.

The end of measles and congenital rubella: an achievable dream?

Adamo G1 Sturabotti G1 DAndrea E1 Baccolini V1 Romano F1 Iannazzo S2 Marzuillo C1 Villari P3.

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Despite substantial progress towards measles and rubella control outbreaks continue to threaten elimination goals worldwide.


This paper aims to document progress towards the global eradication of measles and rubella. In particular it investigates the major challenges faced by Italy in reaching the elimination goals.


A review of the most important literature was carried out. Furthermore a systematic review of the scientific literature on measles and rubella in the Italian setting was performed for the period 2000-2016.


In the National Plan 2010-2015 Italy renewed its commitment to eliminate measles and rubella by 2015. However Italy recently experienced a high measles burden (2205 cases in 2013 1694 in 2014). Between June 2015 and May 2016 515 cases were reported accounting for 28% all cases in Europe. Immunization coverage decreased in recent years with no Region reaching the 95% target. The systematic review included a total of 175 papers with an upward trend in the number of published articles which demonstrates an increasing interest in the field of measles and rubella. The review highlights the need to improve the commitment of the Italian Regions to the elimination goals; to promote Supplementary Immunization Activities (SIAs); to improve the communication skills of health care workers; to improve the health literacy of citizens; and to enhance integrated measles and rubella surveillance.


Elimination of measles and rubella in Italy will require a substantial improvement in both commitment of the 21 Regions and activity of the whole country towards the WHO goals.


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