Introduction. Rubella is generally a mild rush fever disease
when acquired in childhood, but when infection occurs during
the first months of pregnancy, high risk of trans-placental
transmission to the foetus and of congenital anomalies exists.
In November 2003, a National Plan for measles and congenital
rubella elimination was approved in Italy. The aim was to reduce
and maintain Congenital Rubella Syndrome incidence lower than
1 case per 100.000 live births/year by 2007. Since June 2006,
Liguria Administrative Region recognized U.O. Hygiene, ?San
Martino? University Hospital, Genoa, as regional reference
laboratory for diagnosis of rubella infection during pregnancy
Methods. Twenty-one-month virological-surveillance results
between April 2007 and December 2008 were reported in terms
of demographic data, risk factors, access reasons, clinical picture,
vaccination, previous rubella disease, laboratory results of
pregnant women and newborns.
Results and conclusion. Since the beginning of surveillance, 65
pregnant women with suspected virus infection and 18 newborns
with suspected congenital rubella were followed up. The results
of laboratory surveillance highlighted (i) the importance of an
early screening, (ii) the suboptimal specificity of chemiluminescent
assays, that often yield false positive IgM results and (iii) the fundamental
role of second-level laboratory to confirm the serological
diagnosis and to detect the virus by molecular techniques.