Stratification of risk areas for measles transmission: a systematic review

Conceição et al.


To perform a systematic review of scientific publications addressing the use of stratification methods to define risk areas for measles transmission.


Articles published in English, Portuguese, and Spanish in journals indexed in the SciELO, PubMed, and LILACS databases were selected. The search terms risk assessment AND measles were used without date limits. Editorials, opinion articles, individual-level observational studies, and publications that did not focus on the application of methods to stratify measles transmission risk areas were excluded. Year of publication, authorship, country where the study was performed, objective, geographic level of analysis, method used, indicators, and limitations were recorded in a data form.


Thirteen articles published between 2011 and 2022 in nine countries from the six World Health Organization (WHO) regions were selected. Of these, 10 referred to the Measles Risk Assessment Tool developed by the WHO/Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Only one study adapted the tool to the local context. The risk stratification indicators used in the selected studies focused on a combination of the following dimensions: population immunity, quality of surveillance systems, and epidemiologic status. The systematic output of data with adequate quality and coverage was a noteworthy aspect hindering risk stratification.


There seems to be limited dissemination of measles risk stratification strategies, especially at local levels. The need to train human resources to process and interpret risk analyses as part of the routine of surveillance services is emphasized.

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