Epidemiological and molecular approaches for management of a measles outbreak in Liguria, Italy


Since March 2010 a measles outbreak has been occurred in Genoa, Liguria, an administrative Region in Northern Italy. Epi- demiological and molecular data on the outbreak, obtained from the passive mandatory notification system, the laboratory surveillance and an innovative syndrome surveillance system, were investigated. Overall 39 cases were reported in the urban area. Information about demography, vaccination status, hospitalization and geographic distribution of measles cases are available. 19 cases (48.7%) were laboratory-confirmed and were characterized by sequence analysis: 18 strains belonged to genotype D8, so identifying a new measles variant within the Liguria population. Adopted control measures seem to have limited viral circulation. The outbreak allowed to test the efficacy of the 3 surveillance systems active in Liguria, highlighting their advantages and some important limitations. More efforts are needed to collect and integrate any epidemiological and virological available data in order to better describe the local measles transmission dynamics.