Efficacy of pentavalent rotavirus vaccine in a high HIV prevalence population in Kenya

Daniel R. Feikin, Kayla F. Laserson, Joel Ojwando, Geoffrey Nyambane, Victor Ssempijja, Allan Audi, Daveline Nyakundi, Janet Oyieko, Michael J. Dallas, Max Ciarlet, Kathleen M. Neuzil, Robert F. Breiman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Rotavirus gastroenteritis (RVGE) is a leading cause of death in African children. The efficacy of pentavalent rotavirus vaccine (PRV) against severe RVGE evaluated in Ghana, Kenya, and Mali in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, showed a combined regional efficacy of 39.3% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 19.1,54.7) in nearly 2 years of follow-up. This report concentrates on the Kenya findings. Methods: Infants received 3 doses of PRV/placebo at approximately 6-, 10-, and 14-weeks of age. HIV testing was offered to all participants. Data on illness symptoms and signs were collected upon presentation to healthcare facilities, where stools were collected, and analyzed by rotavirus-specific enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. The primary endpoint was severe RVGE (Vesikari score ≥ 11), occurring ≥14 days following the third dose. At monthly home visits, symptoms of illnesses during the past 2 weeks were solicited and limited physical exams were performed; dehydration was defined by WHO's Integrated Management of Childhood Illness. Findings: Vaccine efficacy (VE) against severe RVGE through nearly 2 years of follow-up among 1308 Kenyan children was 63.9% (95% CI: -5.9,89.8). Through the first year of life, VE against severe RVGE was 83.4% (95% CI: 25.5,98.2). From home visits, VE against all-cause gastroenteritis with severe dehydration was 34.4% (95% CI: 5.3,54.6) through the first year and 29.7% (95% CI: 2.5,49.3) through the entire follow-up period. The reduction in incidence of gastroenteritis with severe dehydration in the community during the first year of life (19.0 cases/100 person-years) was almost six times greater than the reduction in severe RVGE presenting to the clinic (3.3/100 person-years). Oral rehydration solution use was lower among PRV recipients (VE 23.1%, 95% CI: 8.8,35.1). An estimated 41% of gastroenteritis with severe dehydration in the first year reported at home was rotavirus-related. Conclusions: PRV significantly reduced severe RVGE in Kenya. The impact of PRV might be greatest in rural Africa in protecting the many children who develop severe gastroenteritis and cannot access health facilities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)A52-A60
Issue numberSUPPL. 1
StatePublished - Apr 27 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Kenya
  • Rotavirus
  • Vaccine efficacy
  • Vaccine probe

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • veterinary(all)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Infectious Diseases


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