Papers And Originals

Serological Assessment of Rubella During Pregnancy

Br Med J 1970; 3 doi: (Published 01 August 1970) Cite this as: Br Med J 1970;3:247
  1. J. E. Banatvala,
  2. Jennifer M. Best,
  3. J. Bertrand,
  4. Narelle A. Bowern,
  5. Sheila M. Hudson


    In 45 patients with rubella-like illnesses during pregnancy serological tests showed that the clinical diagnosis had been accurate in only 20. Since only 16 of these patients had presented for laboratory investigations within a week of the onset of symptoms, the value of haemagglutination-inhibition tests was considerably reduced; the diagnosis in these cases was confirmed by complement-fixation and rubella-specific IgM tests.

    Of 172 patients exposed to a rubella-like illness, only 17 were seronegative; 105 sought advice within two weeks of exposure, and therefore the haemagglutination-inhibition antibody tests were useful in determining immunity. Since the clinical diagnosis of rubella was proved incorrect in a number of cases, these pregnancies were saved. Hence both doctors and patients should report both exposure to and rubella-like illnesses as early as possible, so that laboratory investigations may be carried out without delay.