Author(s): Midthun K, Kapikian AZ
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Abstract Rotavirus vaccine development has focused on the delivery of live attenuated rotavirus strains by the oral route. The initial "Jennerian" approach involving bovine (RIT4237, WC3) or rhesus (RRV) rotavirus vaccine candidates showed that these vaccines were safe, well tolerated, and immunogenic but induced highly variable rates of protection against rotavirus diarrhea. The goal of a rotavirus vaccine is to prevent severe illness that can lead to dehydration in infants and young children in both developed and developing countries. These studies led to the concept that a multivalent vaccine that represented each of the four epidemiologically important VP7 serotypes might be necessary to induce protection in young infants, the target population for vaccination. Human-animal rotavirus reassortants whose gene encoding VP7 was derived from their human rotavirus parent but whose remaining genes were derived from the animal rotavirus parent were developed as vaccine candidates. The greatest experience with a multivalent vaccine to date has been gained with the quadrivalent preparation containing RRV (VP7 serotype 3) and human-RRV reassortants of VP7 serotype 1, 2, and 4 specificity. Preliminary efficacy trial results in the United States have been promising, whereas a study in Peru has shown only limited protection. Human-bovine reassortant vaccines, including a candidate that contains the VP4 gene of a human rotavirus (VP4 serotype 1A), are also being studied.
This article was published in Clin Microbiol Rev
and referenced in Journal of Vaccines & Vaccination