* Sociodemographic Characteristics Associated With Speech and Language Delay and Disorders.
- The aim of this study was to identify major risk factors and sociodemographic characteristics responsible for speech and language delay/disorders. Two hundred twenty-eight children (aged 24-72 months) with speech and language delay/disorders participated in this study. The Ankara Developmental Screening Inventory and The Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test were used to assess language profiles and developmental stages of children. Low income, nonattendance in preschool education, low maternal education, having two or more siblings, later birth order (order of siblings), family history of speech and language delay/disorders, preterm birth, low birth weight, and birth complications or the need for intensive care support during neonatal period were identified as risk factors (all p < 0.005). Both sociodemographic and biologic factors were associated with speech and language delay/disorders. Awareness of these factors may provide a chance for earlier diagnosis and intervention. Identification of risk factors of these children would contribute to our knowledge in this field.
* Seroepidemiological study of rubella in Vojvodina, Serbia: 24 years after the introduction of the MMR vaccine in the national immunization programme.
- Although rubella is usually a mild childhood disease, this infection in early pregnancy poses a serious problem due to its teratogenic effect. The goal of interrupted circulation and elimination of rubella virus was achieved in many countries in the world. The aim of this study was to determine the status of rubella immunity in Vojvodina and evaluate Serbia's progress toward this goal. A total of 3404 residual serum samples from patients of all ages (1 to 84 years) were included in the study. Samples were collected between May 2015 and December 2017 in Vojvodina. Rubella IgG antibodies were determined using an indirect chemiluminescent immunoassay. Percentage of participants seropositive for rubella antibodies was 92.9% in the entire sample. The highest number of seronegatives was in the youngest (1 year) age group (44.7%), followed by the group aged 24-49 (6.4%) and 2-11 years (6.2%). The absence of a higher percentage of children with protective anti-rubella antibodies in the group aged 2-11 can be explained by a lower immunization coverage during certain years. Participants in the group aged 24-49 were born during the pre-vaccination period with lower rubella incidence, leading to the conclusion that not all individuals of that age came into a contact with the virus. Comparing levels of anti-rubella IgG antibodies of seropositive males and females of different ages reveals that the immunity after a contact with the virus and a previously acquired infection is stronger than the immunity after the vaccination. Although the incidence rate of rubella in Vojvodina has been low for the last ten years, there is still a risk of an outbreak due to a decrease in immunization coverage. This study shows that the percentage of susceptible individuals is high, especially considering women aged 24-49, and that additional ("catch-up") immunization is required.