Annals of Tropical Medicine and Public Health
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Year : 2016  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 19-22

Screening of infants with congenital cataract for rubella infection

1 Associate Professor and Pediatric Consultant, University of Khartoum, Khartoum, Sudan
2 Pediatric Consultant, Khartoum, Sudan
3 Associate Professor and Consultant Ophthalmologist, Khartoum, Sudan

Correspondence Address:
Satti Abdelrahim Satti
Associate Professor and Pediatric Consultant, University of Khartoum, Khartoum
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1755-6783.168721

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Background: Eye examination is a routine part of the periodic pediatric assessment. Prevention of visual impairment due to congenital cataract is now an international priority. Objectives: To screen infants with nontraumatic congenital cataract for rubella infection, then to determine the prevalence of congenital rubella syndrome (CRS), and to assess the associated problems. Design, Setting, Participants, and Intervention: A prospective hospital-based study conducted at two eye hospitals in Khartoum, Khartoum, Sudan, from March 15, 2011 to August 15, 2011. The studied group comprised infants, below 1 year of age, presenting with congenital cataract. A properly designed questionnaire was used for the collection of data. Blood samples of the infants were tested for the presence of specific immunoglobulin M (IgM) and immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibodies by the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELIZA) method. The data were statistically analyzed using SPSS software. Results: The number of studied infants with congenital cataract was 104, with the average age being 6.8 months. Male to female ratio in the positive cases was 1.3:1. Of the 104 children, 14 (13.5%) were positive for rubella infection. Of these 14 positive infants, 13 (93%) were below 6 months of age. This indicates that almost all the positive cases can be detected before the age of 6 months. Two (14.3%) mothers had a history of fever and skin rash during pregnancy. Of all the positive infants, 13 (93%) had bilateral congenital cataract. Conclusion and Relevance: Of the studied infants, 14 (13.5%) were positive for rubella infection, indicating a significant prevalence rate. Of the infants who were positive for rubella infection, 93% were below 6 months of age, indicating that the detection of this infection is highly possible early in life. So, taking the test as early as possible is recommended. Introduction of rubella vaccination in our national immunization program is recommended. Proper surveillance and reporting of all cases of CRS with urgent and long-term management programs are recommended. More studies on a larger scale are needed in our country.

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