Rotavirus vaccination within the South African Expanded Programme on Immunisation

MRC/UL Diarrhoeal Pathogens Research Unit, Department of Virology, Medunsa Campus, University of Limpopo/National Health Laboratory Service, Pretoria, South Africa.
Vaccine (Impact Factor: 3.49). 09/2012; 30 Suppl 3:C14-20. DOI: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2012.04.018
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Diarrhoeal diseases are ranked the third major cause of childhood mortality in South African children less than 5years, where the majority of deaths are among black children. Acute severe dehydrating rotavirus diarrhoea remains an important contributor towards childhood mortality and morbidity and has been well documented in South Africa. As the preventive strategy to control rotavirus diarrhoea, South Africa became the first country in the WHO African Region to adopt the rotavirus vaccine in the national childhood immunisation programme in August 2009. The rotavirus vaccine in use, Rotarix(®), GSK Biologicals, is given at 6 and 14weeks of age, along with other vaccines as part of Expanded Programme on Immunisation (EPI). Studies which facilitated the introduction of rotavirus vaccine in South Africa included the burden of rotavirus disease and strain surveillance, economic burden of rotavirus infection and clinical trials to assess the safety and efficacy of vaccine candidates. This paper reviews the epidemiology of rotavirus in South Africa, outlines some of the steps followed to introduce rotavirus vaccine in the EPI, and highlights the early positive impact of vaccination in reducing the rotavirus burden of disease based on the post-marketing surveillance studies at Dr George Mukhari hospital, a sentinel site at University of Limpopo teaching hospital in Pretoria, South Africa, which has conducted rotavirus surveillance for >20years.

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    ABSTRACT: Rotavirus remains a leading cause of acute gastroenteritis in children worldwide with an estimated 2000 deaths each day in developing countries. Due to HIV/AIDS scourge in Kenya, it is possible that rotavirus-related gastroenteritis has been aggravated in adults. The Global Alliance for Immunizations has ranked rotavirus infection a priority for vaccine, and, to ensure its success, there is a need to document the local strain(s) circulating in different regions. A cross-sectional study was conducted to document human rotavirus group A serotypes in children below 5 years and HIV-infected adults in Viwandani slum in Nairobi, Kenya. A total of 260 (128 from children and 132 from HIV infected adults) fecal specimen samples were analyzed from August 2012 to July 2013. Screening for rotavirus was done by antigen based enzyme immune-sorbent assay (ELISA), Polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (PAGE) was used to detect rotavirus electropherotypes and finally genotyping was done by RT-PCR using genotype-specific primer sets targeting VP4 and VP7 genes. Rotavirus was detected in 23% and 8% of children and adult, respectively. Prevalence was high in children of < 2 years and adults of > 48 years. Long electropherotypes accounted for 80% and 60% while short electropherotypes accounted for 20% and 40% in children and adult, respectively. The common globally distributed strains, G1 and G3, accounted for 60% detections while the unusual G9 strain accounted for 80% infection in adults. G1P[8] was the common genotypic combination in children, accounting for 40% infection, whereas G9 [P8] accounted for 60% of the infections in adults. This study shows the existence of strain diversity between rotavirus circulating in children and adults within this study group. It further shows that as currently constituted, the 2 vaccines recommended for rotavirus would cover the circulating strain in Viwandani slum. Finally, there is a need for continuous rotavirus strain surveillance in children and a further focus on HIV infected adults.
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    Faruque ASG, Das SK, Chisti MJ, Afroze F, Ashraf H, Hossain MI, Islam MM, Ahmed T
    Public health nutrition: principles and practice in community and global health, Edited by Favilene C, Brown M, 01/2014: chapter Childhood diarrhea and severe malnutrition: pages 235-55; Jones & Bartlett Learning.
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    ABSTRACT: Group A rotaviruses (RVA) are among the main global causes of severe diarrhea in children under the age of 5years. Strain diversity, mixed infections and untypeable RVA strains are frequently reported in Africa. We analysed rotavirus-positive human stool samples (n=13) obtained from hospitalised children under the age of 5years who presented with acute gastroenteritis at sentinel hospital sites in six African countries, as well as bovine and porcine stool samples (n=1 each), to gain insights into rotavirus diversity and evolution. Polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (PAGE) analysis and genotyping with G-(VP7) and P-specific (VP4) typing primers suggested that 13 of the 15 samples contained more than 11 segments and/or mixed G/P genotypes. Full-length amplicons for each segment were generated using RVA-specific primers and sequenced using the Ion Torrent and/or Illumina MiSeq next-generation sequencing platforms. Sequencing detected at least one segment in each sample for which duplicate sequences, often having distinct genotypes, existed. This supported and extended the PAGE and RT-PCR genotyping findings that suggested these samples were collected from individuals that had mixed rotavirus infections. The study reports the first porcine (MRC-DPRU1567) and bovine (MRC-DPRU3010) mixed infections. We also report a unique genome segment 9 (VP7), whose G9 genotype belongs to lineage VI and clusters with porcine reference strains. Previously, African G9 strains have all been in lineage III. Furthermore, additional RVA segments isolated from humans have a clear evolutionary relationship with porcine, bovine and ovine rotavirus sequences, indicating relatively recent interspecies transmission and reassortment. Thus, multiple RVA strains from sub-Saharan Africa are infecting mammalian hosts with unpredictable variations in their gene segment combinations. Whole-genome sequence analyses of mixed RVA strains underscore the considerable diversity of rotavirus sequences and genome segment combinations that result from a complex evolutionary history involving multiple host species. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier B.V.
    Infection, genetics and evolution: journal of molecular epidemiology and evolutionary genetics in infectious diseases 02/2015; 31. DOI:10.1016/j.meegid.2015.02.011 · 3.26 Impact Factor