Rotavirus vaccines in developed countries

Jim P. Buttery, Carl Kirkwood

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Rotavirus is the most common cause of diarrhoea and dehydration in early childhood. The recent licensure in many nations of vaccines against rotavirus offers promise to significantly reduce this toll. The present review describes recent developments regarding rotavirus vaccines and the challenges they face. RECENT FINDINGS: Rotavirus causes significant morbidity and impact upon healthcare systems, at both inpatient and outpatient levels. An earlier rotavirus vaccine, since withdrawn, was temporally associated with intussusception causing small bowel obstruction, especially in infants receiving their first dose at an older age. Large-scale safety and efficacy studies of two new live, oral, attenuated vaccines have shown excellent efficacy against severe rotavirus gastroenteritis. Importantly, both studies detected no association with intussusception with these new vaccines when administered at the scheduled ages. Developed using different rotavirus vaccinology philosophies, questions remain regarding their coverage against new rotavirus serotypes. Ongoing intussusception surveillance following introduction should answer whether they may be safely administered beyond scheduled ages. SUMMARY: Safe, efficacious rotavirus vaccines are available in many developed countries, offering significant promise to reduce the burden of gastroenteritis and dehydration. The impact of these vaccines upon not only morbidity, but also circulating rotavirus serotypes, will be monitored with interest.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)253-258
Number of pages6
JournalCurrent Opinion in Infectious Diseases
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Gastroenteritis
  • Intussusception
  • Rotavirus
  • Vaccines

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