Rotavirus Vaccine Effective in Latin American Infants

April 4, 2008

In Latin American infants, oral live attenuated human rotavirus vaccine provides significant protection against rotavirus gastroenteritis up to age 2, according to the results of a study published in the April 5 issue of The Lancet.

FRIDAY, April 4 (HealthDay News) -- In Latin American infants, oral live attenuated human rotavirus vaccine provides significant protection against rotavirus gastroenteritis up to age 2, according to the results of a study published in the April 5 issue of The Lancet.

Alexandre C. Linhares, M.D., of the Instituto Evandro Chagas, Secretaria de Vigilancia em Saude Ministry of Health in Para, Brazil, and colleagues randomly assigned 15,183 healthy infants in 10 Latin American countries to receive either two oral doses of RIX4414 or placebo between 2 months and 4 months of age.

After two years of follow-up, the researchers found that vaccinated children developed significantly fewer cases of severe rotavirus gastroenteritis than unvaccinated children (0.4 percent versus 2.3 percent). They calculated that the vaccine had efficacies of 80.5 to 82.1 percent against wild-type G1, 77.5 percent against pooled non-G1 strains, and 80.5 percent against pooled non-G1 P[8] strains.

"The importance of these results should not be underestimated because this study was done in developing countries from Latin America with challenging socioeconomic circumstances," the authors conclude. "Inclusion of this vaccine in routine pediatric immunization schedules can be expected to greatly reduce the burden of rotavirus disease worldwide."

This study was funded by GlaxoSmithKline.

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