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Current UK NSC recommendations > Rubella susceptibility

The UK NSC recommendation on Rubella susceptibility screening in pregnancy

Recommendation Systematic population screening programme not recommended
Last review completed May 2012
Next review due in n/a
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Screening for rubella susceptibility does not meet the UK NSC criteria for a screening programme.


The UK has a very low incidence of congenital rubella syndrome but increasing reports of susceptibility in pregnant women.  In this context there is concern that the current approach based on screening all pregnant women and vaccinating those found to be susceptible is not the optimum approach to preventing outbreaks of rubella infection.


MMR is an excellent public health intervention and an alternative strategy. This may be better placed to protect the population and is being considered by the UK NSC and JCVI.


Screening for susceptibility to rubella infection ceased on 1 April 2016.


Find general information about population health screening.

More about Rubella susceptibility

Rubella is no longer a common disease of childhood in the UK. This is a result of the Mumps, Measles and Rubella (MMR) vaccination programme - although there are concerns that if MMR vaccination rates continue to drop then cases of rubella will reappear.

Rubella infection usually presents as a mild disease, often without symptoms. However if the infection occurs during pregnancy it can cross the placenta and pass to the fetus with serious consequences.

» Read more about rubella on NHS Choices

Screening in the UK

Compare how screening is offered across the UK.


Faculty of Public Health
Royal College of General Practitioners
Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists
Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health

The stakeholder groups will be involved when the recommendation is next reviewed. If you think your organisation should be added, please contact us. More information for stakeholders can be found in appendix C of the UK NSC evidence review process.

Related documents

icon Rubella susceptibility screening policy review summary (PDF document, 158KB, 28/05/12)

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