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Background: Rotavirus (RoV) remains the leading cause of acute gastroenteritis in infants and children aged under five years in both high- and low-middle-income countries (LMICs). In LMICs, RoV infections are associated with substantial mortality. Two RoV vaccines (Rotarix and Rotateq) are widely available for use in infants, both of which have been shown to be highly efficacious in Europe and North America. However, for unknown reasons, these RoV vaccines have markedly lower efficacy in LMICs. We hypothesize that poor RoV vaccine efficacy across in certain regions may be associated with genetic heritability or gene expression in the human host. Methods/design: We designed an open-label single-arm interventional trial with the Rotarix RoV vaccine to identify genetic and transcriptomic markers associated with generating a protective immune response against RoV. Overall, 1,000 infants will be recruited prior to Expanded Program on Immunization (EPI) vaccinations at two months of age and vaccinated with oral Rotarix vaccine at two and three months, after which the infants will be followed-up for diarrheal disease until 18 months of age. Blood sampling for genetics, transcriptomics, and immunological analysis will be conducted before each Rotarix vaccination, 2-3 days post-vaccination, and at each follow-up visit (i.e. 6, 12 and 18 months of age). Stool samples will be collected during each diarrheal episode to identify RoV infection. The primary outcome will be Rotarix vaccine failure events (i.e. symptomatic RoV infection despite vaccination), secondary outcomes will be antibody responses and genotypic characterization of the infection virus in Rotarix failure events. Discussion: This study will be the largest and best powered study of its kind to be conducted to date in infants, and will be critical for our understanding of RoV immunity, human genetics in the Vietnam population, and mechanisms determining RoV vaccine-mediated protection. Registration:, ID: NCT03587389. Registered on 16 July 2018.

Original publication




Journal article


Wellcome Open Research


F1000 Research Ltd

Publication Date





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