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Concept: Rotavirus vaccine


Background Each year, rotavirus gastroenteritis is responsible for about 37% of deaths from diarrhea among children younger than 5 years of age worldwide, with a disproportionate effect in sub-Saharan Africa. Methods We conducted a randomized, placebo-controlled trial in Niger to evaluate the efficacy of a live, oral bovine rotavirus pentavalent vaccine (BRV-PV, Serum Institute of India) to prevent severe rotavirus gastroenteritis. Healthy infants received three doses of the vaccine or placebo at 6, 10, and 14 weeks of age. Episodes of gastroenteritis were assessed through active and passive surveillance and were graded on the basis of the score on the Vesikari scale (which ranges from 0 to 20, with higher scores indicating more severe disease). The primary end point was the efficacy of three doses of vaccine as compared with placebo against a first episode of laboratory-confirmed severe rotavirus gastroenteritis (Vesikari score, ≥11) beginning 28 days after dose 3. Results Among the 3508 infants who were included in the per-protocol efficacy analysis, there were 31 cases of severe rotavirus gastroenteritis in the vaccine group and 87 cases in the placebo group (2.14 and 6.44 cases per 100 person-years, respectively), for a vaccine efficacy of 66.7% (95% confidence interval [CI], 49.9 to 77.9). Similar efficacy was seen in the intention-to-treat analyses, which showed a vaccine efficacy of 69.1% (95% CI, 55.0 to 78.7). There was no significant between-group difference in the risk of adverse events, which were reported in 68.7% of the infants in the vaccine group and in 67.2% of those in the placebo group, or in the risk of serious adverse events (in 8.3% in the vaccine group and in 9.1% in the placebo group); there were 27 deaths in the vaccine group and 22 in the placebo group. None of the infants had confirmed intussusception. Conclusions Three doses of BRV-PV, an oral rotavirus vaccine, had an efficacy of 66.7% against severe rotavirus gastroenteritis among infants in Niger. (Funded by Médecins sans Frontières Operational Center and the Kavli Foundation; number, NCT02145000 .).

Concepts: Clinical trial, Malaria, Vaccine, Rotavirus, Placebo, Pediatrics, Diarrhea, Rotavirus vaccine


In January 2006, the Journal published two landmark articles reporting the safety and efficacy of two different vaccines - RotaTeq (Merck), a pentavalent vaccine (RV5)(1) and Rotarix (GlaxoSmithKline), a monovalent vaccine (RV1)(2) - to prevent rotavirus, the most common cause of severe childhood diarrhea worldwide and of deaths from diarrhea in low-income countries. Each trial enrolled more than 60,000 infants to determine whether these live oral vaccines caused intussusception, the rare complication that in 1999 forced the withdrawal of the first licensed rotavirus vaccine, RotaShield (Wyeth Lederle), less than a year after it was recommended for routine immunization of U.S. . . .

Concepts: Gastroenterology, Rotavirus, Pediatrics, Vaccines, Rotavirus vaccine


Carl Kirkwood and Duncan Steele discuss the evidence supporting rotavirus vaccine deployment in Asian countries.

Concepts: Gastroenterology, Rotavirus vaccine


Rotavirus is a leading cause of severe pediatric diarrhea globally, estimated to have caused 120,000 deaths among children aged <5 years in sub-Saharan Africa in 2013 (1). In 2009, the World Health Organization (WHO) recommended rotavirus vaccination for all infants worldwide (2). Two rotavirus vaccines are currently licensed globally: the monovalent Rotarix vaccine (RV1, GlaxoSmithKline; 2-dose series) and the pentavalent RotaTeq vaccine (RV5, Merck; 3-dose series). This report describes progress of rotavirus vaccine introduction (3), coverage (using estimates from WHO and the United Nations Children's Fund [UNICEF]) (4), and impact on pediatric diarrhea hospitalizations in the WHO African Region. By December 2016, 31 (66%) of 47 countries in the WHO African Region had introduced rotavirus vaccine, including 26 that introduced RV1 and five that introduced RV5. Among these countries, rotavirus vaccination coverage (completed series) was 77%, according to WHO/UNICEF population-weighted estimates. In 12 countries with surveillance data available before and after vaccine introduction, the proportion of pediatric diarrhea hospitalizations that were rotavirus-positive declined 33%, from 39% preintroduction to 26% following rotavirus vaccine introduction. These results support introduction of rotavirus vaccine in the remaining countries in the region and continuation of rotavirus surveillance to monitor impact.

Concepts: Malaria, Africa, Gastroenterology, Rotavirus, Pediatrics, World Health Organization, United Nations, Rotavirus vaccine


Rotavirus vaccines are now globally recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO), but in early 2009 WHO’s Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization reviewed available data and concluded that there was no evidence for the efficacy or effectiveness of a two-dose schedule of the human rotavirus vaccine (HRV; Rotarix) given early at 6 and 10 wk of age. Additionally, the effectiveness of programmatic rotavirus vaccination, including possible indirect effects, has not been assessed in low-resource populations in Asia.

Concepts: Immune system, Public health, Vaccination, Influenza, Rotavirus, Smallpox, Vaccines, Rotavirus vaccine


Rotavirus is the most common cause of severe dehydrating gastroenteritis in developing countries. Safe, effective, and affordable rotavirus vaccines are needed in these countries. We aimed to assess the efficacy and tolerability of a monovalent human-bovine rotavirus vaccine for severe rotavirus gastroenteritis in low-resource urban and rural settings in India.

Concepts: Gastroenterology, Rotavirus, Pediatrics, India, Diarrhea, Gastroenteritis, Vaccines, Rotavirus vaccine


Rotavirus results in more diarrhoea-related deaths in children less than five years of age than any other single agent in countries with high childhood mortality. It is also a common cause of diarrhoea-related hospital admissions in countries with low childhood mortality. Currently licensed rotavirus vaccines include a monovalent rotavirus vaccine (RV1; Rotarix, GlaxoSmithKline Biologicals) and a pentavalent rotavirus vaccine (RV5; RotaTeq, Merck & Co., Inc.). Lanzhou lamb rotavirus vaccine (LLR; Lanzhou Institute of Biomedical Products) is used in China only.

Concepts: Gastroenterology, Rotavirus, Vaccines, Rotavirus vaccine


Oral rotavirus vaccines have consistently proven to be less immunogenic among infants in developing countries. Discrepancies in the intestinal microbiota, including a greater burden of enteropathogens and an altered commensal community composition, may contribute to this trend by inhibiting the replication of vaccine viruses. To test this possibility, we performed a nested case-control study in Vellore, India, in which we compared the intestinal microbiota of infants who responded serologically or not after two doses of Rotarix delivered at 6 and 10 weeks of age as part of a clinical trial (CTRI/2012/05/002677). The prevalence of 40 bacterial, viral, and eukaryotic pathogen targets was assessed in pre-vaccination stool samples from 325 infants using singleplex real-time PCR on a Taqman array card (TAC). In a subset of 170 infants, we assessed bacterial microbiota composition by sequencing the 16S rRNA gene V4 region. Contrary to expectations, responders were more likely than non-responders to harbor ≥1 bacterial enteropathogen at dose 1 (26% [40/156] vs 13% [21/157] of infants with TAC results who completed the study per protocol; χ2, P = .006), although this was not apparent at dose 2 (24% [38/158] vs 23% [36/158]; P = .790). Rotavirus shedding after dose 1 was negatively correlated with the replication of co-administered oral poliovirus vaccine (OPV). We observed no consistent differences in composition or diversity of the 16S bacterial microbiota according to serological response, although rotavirus shedding was associated with slightly more bacterial taxa pre-vaccination. Overall, our findings demonstrate an inhibitory effect of co-administered OPV on the first dose of Rotarix, consistent with previous studies, but in the context of OPV co-administration we did not find a strong association between other components of the intestinal microbiota at the time of vaccination and Rotarix immunogenicity.

Concepts: Bacteria, Vaccine, 16S ribosomal RNA, Gastroenterology, Rotavirus, Viruses, Vaccines, Rotavirus vaccine


G1P[8] rotaviruses are responsible for the majority of human rotavirus infections worldwide. The effect of universal mass vaccination with rotavirus vaccines on circulating G1P[8] rotaviruses is still poorly understood. Therefore we analyzed the complete genomes of the Rotarix™ vaccine strain, and 70 G1P[8] rotaviruses, detected between 1999 and 2010 in Belgium (36 before and 34 after vaccine introduction) to investigate the impact of rotavirus vaccine introduction on circulating G1P[8] strains. All rotaviruses possessed a complete Wa-like genotype constellation, but frequent intra-genogroup reassortments were observed as well as multiple different cluster constellations circulating in a single season. In addition, identical cluster constellations were found to circulate persistently over multiple seasons. The Rotarix™ vaccine strain possessed a unique cluster constellation that was not present in currently circulating G1P[8] strains. At the nucleotide level, the VP6, VP2 and NSP2 gene segments of Rotarix™ were relatively distantly related to any Belgian G1P[8] strain, but other gene segments of Rotarix™ were found in clusters also containing circulating Belgian strains. At the amino acid level, the genetic distance between Rotarix™ and circulating Belgian strains was considerably lower, except for NSP1. When we compared the Belgian G1P[8] strains collected before and after vaccine introduction a reduction in the proportion of strains that were found in the same cluster as the Rotarix™ vaccine strain was observed for most gene segments. The reduction in the proportion of strains belonging to the same cluster may be the result of the vaccine introduction, although natural fluctuations cannot be ruled out.

Concepts: Gene, Genetics, Virus, Vaccine, Vaccination, Gastroenterology, Rotavirus, Rotavirus vaccine


In anticipation of introduction of a rotavirus vaccine into the national immunization program of Bangladesh, active hospital-based surveillance was initiated to provide pre-vaccine baseline data on rotavirus disease.

Concepts: Gastroenterology, Rotavirus, Pediatrics, Rotavirus vaccine