Rotavirus vaccine greatly reduced gastroenteritis hospitalizations in children

June 24, 2011

Vaccination against rotavirus, a major cause of severe acute gastroenteritis in children, dramatically decreased hospitalization rates for the infection among infants in three U.S. counties, according to a new study published in Clinical Infectious Diseases.

From 2006 to 2009, researchers examined the impact of the vaccine among children hospitalized for diarrhea and/or vomiting in the Cincinnati, Ohio; Nashville, Tenn.; and Rochester, N.Y., areas. In 2008, rotavirus hospitalizations among vaccine-eligible children decreased 87 to 96 percent.

Routine rotavirus vaccination of U.S. infants began in 2006, and children between the ages of 6 months and 24 months are eligible for the vaccine. During the pre-rotavirus vaccine era, rotavirus gastroenteritis was responsible for 4 to 5 percent of all U.S. pediatric hospitalizations and accounted for about 50 percent of hospitalizations during the winter months.

According to study author Daniel C. Payne, MSPH, PhD, of the in Atlanta, "Our data confirm that the introduction of rotavirus vaccination among U.S. children has dramatically decreased rotavirus . The reductions observed in 2008 far exceeded what was expected on the basis of and effectiveness."

Even older children who were too old to have been immunized with appeared to benefit. The hospitalization rate decreased 92 percent among these older, unvaccinated children and is believed to have been due to the indirect protective benefits conferred by reduced rotavirus transmission from younger, vaccinated children in the household and community. However, Dr. Payne noted, "The indirect protective benefits seen in older, unvaccinated children were not observed during the following year, 2009, when rotavirus rates increased disproportionately among this age group. These findings suggest that indirect protective benefits may have provided unvaccinated, older children a single-year deferral of exposure and illness.

"Continued surveillance is needed to further assess the role of rotavirus vaccination coverage, indirect protective benefits, immunity over time, and serotypic variation upon rotavirus activity in the United States," Dr. Payne said.

More information: Direct and Indirect Effects of Rotavirus Vaccination Upon Childhood Hospitalizations in 3 U.S. Counties, www.oxfordjournals.org/our_journals/cid/prpaper.pdf

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Antibody found that fight MERS coronavirus

July 28, 2015

(Medical Xpress)—An international team of researchers has found a MERS neutralizing antibody—a discovery that could perhaps lead to a treatment for people infected with the virus. In their paper published in Proceedings ...

Experimental MERS vaccine shows promise in animal studies

July 28, 2015

A two-step regimen of experimental vaccines against Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) prompted immune responses in mice and rhesus macaques, report National Institutes of Health scientists who designed the vaccines. ...

Can social isolation fuel epidemics?

July 21, 2015

Conventional wisdom has it that the more people stay within their own social groups and avoid others, the less likely it is small disease outbreaks turn into full-blown epidemics. But the conventional wisdom is wrong, according ...

Lack of knowledge on animal disease leaves humans at risk

July 20, 2015

Researchers from the University of Sydney have painted the most detailed picture to date of major infectious diseases shared between wildlife and livestock, and found a huge gap in knowledge about diseases which could spread ...

IBD genetically similar in Europeans and non-Europeans

July 20, 2015

The first genetic study of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) to include individuals from diverse populations has shown that the regions of the genome underlying the disease are consistent around the world. This study, conducted ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.