Rotavirus is the leading cause of severe and dehydrating diarrhea in children aged under 5 years. We undertook this hospital-based surveillance study to examine the possible relationship between the severity of diarrhea and the various G-group rotaviruses circulating in India. Stool samples (n = 2,051) were systematically collected from 4,711 children aged <5 years admitted with severe acute gastroenteritis to 12 medical school centers from April 2011 to July 2012. Rotavirus testing was undertaken using a commercially available enzyme immunoassay kit for the rotavirus VP6 antigen (Premier Rotaclone Qualitative ELISA). Rotavirus positive samples were genotyped for VP7 and VP4 antigens by reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction at a central laboratory. Of the stool samples tested for rotavirus antigen, 541 (26.4%) were positive for VP6 antigen. Single serotype infections from 377 stool samples were compared in terms of gastroenteritis severity. Among those with G1 rotavirus infection, very severe diarrhea (Vesikari score ≥ 16) was reported in 59 (33.9%) children, severe diarrhea (Vesikari score 11–15) in 104 (59.8%), moderate (Vesikari score 6–10) and mild diarrhea (Vesikari score 0–5) in 11 (6.3%). Among those with G2 infection, very severe diarrhea was reported in 26 (27.4%) children, severe diarrhea in 46 (48.4%), and moderate and mild diarrhea in 23 (24.2 %). Among those with G9 infection, very severe diarrhea was reported in 47 (54.5%) children, severe diarrhea in 29 (33.6%), and moderate and mild diarrhea in 10 (11.9%). Among those with G12 infection, very severe diarrhea was reported in 9 (40.9%) children and severe diarrhea in 13 (59.1%). The results of this study indicate some association between rotavirus serotypes and severity of gastroenteritis.
Pentavalent combination vaccines are important tools to strengthen the immunization programs in numerous countries throughout the world. A large number of countries have recognized the value of combination vaccines and have introduced whole cell pentavalent vaccines into their immunization programs. A phase III, multi-center, randomized, single blinded study of a fully liquid pentavalent DTwP-HepB-Hib investigational vaccine (Shan5™) was conducted across India in 2 cohorts: 15 toddlers were evaluated for safety and immunogenicity following a single booster dose (Cohort 1) followed by 1085 infants (Cohort 2) evaluated for immunogenicity and safety following 3-dose primary immunization of the investigational vaccine or a locally licensed comparator vaccine (Pentavac SD). Immune consistency analysis among 3 lots of the investigational vaccine, and immune non-inferiority analysis of pooled (3 lots) data of investigational vaccine vs. comparator vaccine were carried out in cohort 2. The vaccines demonstrated comparable safety and immune responses in cohort 1. In cohort 2, equivalent immune consistency among 3 lots was observed for all antigens except whole cell pertussis antigens, where a marginal variation was observed which was linked to the low power of the test and concluded to not have any clinical significance. Immune non-inferiority against the comparator vaccine was demonstrated for all 5 antigens. Safety results were comparable between vaccine groups. This investigational, fully-liquid, whole-cell pertussis (wP) containing new pentavalent vaccine was found to be safe and immunologically non-inferior to the licensed comparator vaccine.
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