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1.  Early exposure of infants to natural rotavirus infection: a review of studies with human rotavirus vaccine RIX4414 
BMC Pediatrics  2014;14(1):295.
Background
Rotaviruses are the leading cause of severe acute gastroenteritis in children aged <5 years worldwide. A live attenuated human rotavirus vaccine, RIX4414 has been developed to reduce the global disease burden associated with rotavirus gastroenteritis. Serum anti-rotavirus immunoglobulin A (IgA) antibody measured in unvaccinated infants during clinical trials of RIX4414 reflects natural rotavirus exposure, and may inform the optimal timing for rotavirus vaccination.
Methods
We reviewed phase II and III randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trials conducted by GlaxoSmithKline Vaccines, Wavre, Belgium between 2000 and 2008 which used the commercial formulation of RIX4414 lyophilized vaccine. We included trials for which demographic data and pre-dose-1 and post-last-dose anti-rotavirus IgA antibody status were available from placebo recipients.
Results
Sixteen clinical trials met the inclusion criteria. The studies were conducted across Africa (N = 3), Asia (N = 4), Latin America (N = 4), Europe (N = 4) and North America (N = 1). Overall, 46,398 infants were enrolled and among these, 20,099 received placebo. The mean age at pre-dose-1 time point ranged from 6.4 − 12.2 weeks while the mean age at post-last-dose time point ranged from 13.5 − 19.6 weeks. The anti-RV IgA seropositivity rates at both time points were higher in less developed countries of Africa, Asia and Latin America (pre-dose-1: 2.1%-26.3%; post-last-dose: 6.3%-34.8%) when compared to more developed countries of Asia, Europe and North America (pre-dose-1: 0%-9.4%; post-last-dose: 0%-21.3%), indicating that rotavirus infections occurred at a younger age in these regions.
Conclusion
Exposure to rotavirus infection occurred early in life among infants in most geographical settings, especially in developing countries. These data emphasize the importance of timely rotavirus vaccination within the Expanded Program on Immunization schedule to maximize protection.
doi:10.1186/s12887-014-0295-2
PMCID: PMC4261882  PMID: 25433534
Rotavirus; Early protection; Gastroenteritis; Anti-rotavirus
2.  Human rotavirus vaccine Rotarix™ provides protection against diverse circulating rotavirus strains in African infants: a randomized controlled trial 
BMC Infectious Diseases  2012;12:213.
Background
Rotaviruses are the most important cause of severe acute gastroenteritis worldwide in children <5 years of age. The human, G1P[8] rotavirus vaccine Rotarix™ significantly reduced severe rotavirus gastroenteritis episodes in a Phase III clinical trial conducted in infants in South Africa and Malawi. This paper examines rotavirus vaccine efficacy in preventing severe rotavirus gastroenteritis, during infancy, caused by the various G and P rotavirus types encountered during the first rotavirus-season.
Methods
Healthy infants aged 5–10 weeks were enrolled and randomized into three groups to receive either two (10 and 14 weeks) or three doses of Rotarix™ (together forming the pooled Rotarix™ group) or three doses of placebo at a 6,10,14-week schedule. Weekly home visits were conducted to identify gastroenteritis episodes. Rotaviruses were detected by ELISA and genotyped by RT-PCR and nucleotide sequencing. The percentage of infants with severe rotavirus gastroenteritis caused by the circulating G and P types from 2 weeks post-last dose until one year of age and the corresponding vaccine efficacy was calculated with 95% CI.
Results
Overall, 4939 infants were vaccinated and 4417 (pooled Rotarix™ = 2974; placebo = 1443) were included in the per protocol efficacy cohort. G1 wild-type was detected in 23 (1.6%) severe rotavirus gastroenteritis episodes from the placebo group. This was followed in order of detection by G12 (15 [1%] in placebo) and G8 types (15 [1%] in placebo). Vaccine efficacy against G1 wild-type, G12 and G8 types were 64.1% (95% CI: 29.9%; 82%), 51.5% (95% CI:-6.5%; 77.9%) and 64.4% (95% CI: 17.1%; 85.2%), respectively. Genotype P[8] was the predominant circulating P type and was detected in 38 (2.6%) severe rotavirus gastroenteritis cases in placebo group. The remaining circulating P types comprised of P[4] (20 [1.4%] in placebo) and P[6] (13 [0.9%] in placebo). Vaccine efficacy against P[8] was 59.1% (95% CI: 32.8%; 75.3%), P[4] was 70.9% (95% CI: 37.5%; 87.0%) and P[6] was 55.2% (95% CI: -6.5%; 81.3%)
Conclusions
Rotarix™ vaccine demonstrated efficacy against severe gastroenteritis caused by diverse circulating rotavirus types. These data add to a growing body of evidence supporting heterotypic protection provided by Rotarix™.
Trial registration number
NCT00241644
doi:10.1186/1471-2334-12-213
PMCID: PMC3462149  PMID: 22974466
3.  Investigation of a regulatory agency enquiry into potential porcine circovirus type 1 contamination of the human rotavirus vaccine, Rotarix™ 
Human Vaccines & Immunotherapeutics  2013;9(11):2398-2408.
In January 2010, porcine circovirus type 1 (PCV1) DNA was unexpectedly detected in the oral live-attenuated human rotavirus vaccine, Rotarix™ (GlaxoSmithKline [GSK] Vaccines) by an academic research team investigating a novel, highly sensitive analysis not routinely used for adventitious agent screening. GSK rapidly initiated an investigation to confirm the source, nature and amount of PCV1 in the vaccine manufacturing process and to assess potential clinical implications of this finding. The investigation also considered the manufacturer’s inactivated poliovirus (IPV)-containing vaccines, since poliovirus vaccine strains are propagated using the same cell line as the rotavirus vaccine strain. Results confirmed the presence of PCV1 DNA and low levels of PCV1 viral particles at all stages of the Rotarix™ manufacturing process. PCV type 2 DNA was not detected at any stage. When tested in human cell lines, productive PCV1 infection was not observed. There was no immunological or clinical evidence of PCV1 infection in infants who had received Rotarix™ in clinical trials. PCV1 DNA was not detected in the IPV-containing vaccine manufacturing process beyond the purification stage. Retrospective testing confirmed the presence of PCV1 DNA in Rotarix™ since the initial stages of its development and in vaccine lots used in clinical studies conducted pre- and post-licensure. The acceptable safety profile observed in clinical trials of Rotarix™ therefore reflects exposure to PCV1 DNA. The investigation into the presence of PCV1 in Rotarix™ could serve as a model for risk assessment in the event of new technologies identifying adventitious agents in the manufacturing of other vaccines and biological products.
doi:10.4161/hv.25973
PMCID: PMC3981850  PMID: 24056737
Rotarix™; adventitious agents; human rotavirus vaccine; inactivated poliovirus vaccine; porcine circovirus type 1
4.  Reactogenicity and safety of a liquid human rotavirus vaccine (RIX4414) in healthy adults, children and infants in China 
Human Vaccines & Immunotherapeutics  2013;9(8):1638-1642.
We report the findings of three randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled Phase I studies undertaken to support licensure of the liquid formulation of the human G1P[8] rotavirus (RV) vaccine (RIX4414; GlaxoSmithKline Biologicals SA) in China. Healthy adults aged 18–45 y (n = 48) and children aged 2–6 y (n = 50) received a single dose of the human RV vaccine or placebo. Healthy infants (n = 50) aged 6–16 weeks at the time of first vaccination received two oral doses of the human RV vaccine or placebo according to a 0, 1 mo schedule. In infants, blood samples were collected prior to vaccination and one month post-dose 2 to assess anti-RV IgA antibody concentrations using ELISA. Stool samples were collected from all infants on the day of each vaccination, at 7 and 15 d after each vaccination and one month post-dose 2. Stool samples were analyzed by ELISA for detection of RV antigen to assess RV antigen excretion. The reactogenicity profile of the human RV vaccine was found to be comparable to that of placebo in all age groups studied. The anti-RV IgA antibody seroconversion rate in infants after two vaccine doses was 86.7% (95% CI: 59.5–98.3). Vaccine take in infants who received the liquid human RV vaccine was 86.7% (95% CI: 59.5–98.3). A Phase III efficacy study of the human RV vaccine in the infant population in China has now been completed (ROTA-075/NCT01171963).
doi:10.4161/hv.25076
PMCID: PMC3906260  PMID: 23807360
rotavirus gastroenteritis; rotavirus vaccination; human rotavirus vaccine; RIX4414; vaccine safety

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