Effect of human rotavirus vaccine on severe diarrhea in African infants

The New England Journal of Medicine
Shabir A MadhiKathleen M Neuzil


Rotavirus is the most common cause of severe gastroenteritis among young children worldwide. Data are needed to assess the efficacy of the rotavirus vaccine in African children. We conducted a randomized, placebo-controlled, multicenter trial in South Africa (3166 infants; 64.1% of the total) and Malawi (1773 infants; 35.9% of the total) to evaluate the efficacy of a live, oral rotavirus vaccine in preventing severe rotavirus gastroenteritis. Healthy infants were randomly assigned in a 1:1:1 ratio to receive two doses of vaccine (in addition to one dose of placebo) or three doses of vaccine--the pooled vaccine group--or three doses of placebo at 6, 10, and 14 weeks of age. Episodes of gastroenteritis caused by wild-type rotavirus during the first year of life were assessed through active follow-up surveillance and were graded with the use of the Vesikari scale. A total of 4939 infants were enrolled and randomly assigned to one of the three groups; 1647 infants received two doses of the vaccine, 1651 infants received three doses of the vaccine, and 1641 received placebo. Of the 4417 infants included in the per-protocol efficacy analysis, severe rotavirus gastroenteritis occurred in 4.9% of the infants in the placebo group and in...Continue Reading


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