Seroconversion rates in healthcare workers using a latex agglutination assay after varicella virus vaccination Journal Article


Authors: Weinstock, D. M.; Rogers, M.; Lim, S.; Eagan, J.; Sepkowitz, K. A.
Article Title: Seroconversion rates in healthcare workers using a latex agglutination assay after varicella virus vaccination
Abstract: OBJECTIVES: To determine the seroconversion rate after varicella immunization of healthcare workers (HCWs) and the effect of seroconversion rate on current cost-based recommendations for universal vaccination. METHODS: A voluntary vaccination program for HCWs was performed at a tertiary-care cancer center in New York City. A commercial latex agglutination assay was used to test postvaccination antibody response. Costs for vaccination and postvaccination serological testing were compared to potential costs of postexposure employee furloughs. RESULTS: Of 263 seronegative HCWs, 96 (36.5%) began the vaccine program. Thirty-nine HCWs received only one dose of vaccine. Seven returned for follow-up antibody testing, of whom 4 were seropositive. Of the 57 HCWs who received two doses, 38 returned for follow-up serology. Thirty-one (81.6%) HCWs were seropositive for varicella-zoster virus antibodies, and seven HCWs (18.4%) remained seronegative. Total cost of vaccination for all 263 seronegative HCWs was estimated and compared to the cost of varicella-related furloughs at our institution. CONCLUSIONS: We found a considerably lower rate of vaccine-induced seroconversion at our hospital compared to that of the published literature. Despite this finding, universal varicella vaccination remained an extremely cost-effective alternative to the furloughing of exposed, seronegative HCWs. Projected hospital savings exceeded $53,000 in the first year after vaccination alone.
Keywords: adult; middle aged; economics; blood; immunology; vaccination; health care personnel; infection control; cost-benefit analysis; health personnel; chickenpox vaccine; chickenpox; cost benefit analysis; immunization programs; varicella zoster virus; antibodies, viral; herpesvirus 3, human; virus antibody; preventive health service; humans; human; male; female; article; latex agglutination test; latex fixation tests
Journal Title: Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology
Volume: 20
Issue: 7
ISSN: 0899-823X
Publisher: The Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America  
Date Published: 1999-07-01
Start Page: 504
End Page: 507
Language: English
DOI: 10.1086/501660
PUBMED: 10432164
PROVIDER: scopus
DOI/URL:
Notes: Article -- Export Date: 16 August 2016 -- Source: Scopus
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MSK Authors
  1. Kent A Sepkowitz
    247 Sepkowitz
  2. Suzanne Lee Lim
    3 Lim
  3. Maureen M Rogers
    5 Rogers
  4. Janet A Eagan
    37 Eagan