Effect of childhood rotavirus vaccination on community rotavirus prevalence in rural Ecuador, 2008-13

Alicia N.M. Kraay, Edward L. Ionides, Gwenyth O. Lee, William F.Cevallos Trujillo, Joseph N.S. Eisenberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Although live attenuated monovalent human rotavirus vaccine (Rotarix) efficacy has been characterized through randomized studies, its effectiveness, especially in non-clinical settings, is less clear. In this study, we estimate the impact of childhood Rotarix® vaccination on community rotavirus prevalence. Methods: We analyse 10 years of serial population-based diarrhoea case-control study, which also included testing for rotavirus infection (n = 3430), and 29 months of all-cause diarrhoea active surveillance from a child cohort (n = 376) from rural Ecuador during a period in which Rotarix vaccination was introduced. We use weighted logistic regression from the case-control data to assess changes in community rotavirus prevalence (both symptomatic and asymptomatic) and all-cause diarrhoea after the vaccine was introduced. We also assess changes in all-cause diarrhoea rates in the child cohort (born 2008-13) using Cox regression, comparing time to first all-cause diarrhoea case by vaccine status. Results: Overall, vaccine introduction among age-eligible children was associated with a 82.9% reduction [95% confidence interval (CI): 49.4%, 94.2%] in prevalence of rotavirus in participants without diarrhoea symptoms and a 46.0% reduction (95% CI: 6.2%, 68.9%) in prevalence of rotavirus infection among participants experiencing diarrhoea. Whereas all age groups benefited, this reduction was strongest among the youngest age groups. For young children, prevalence of symptomatic diarrhoea also decreased in the post-vaccine period in both the case-control study (reduction in prevalence for children <1 year of age = 69.3%, 95% CI: 8.7%, 89.7%) and the cohort study (reduction in hazard for receipt of two Rotarix doses among children aged 0.5-2 years = 57.1%, 95% CI: 16.6, 77.9%). Conclusions: Rotarix vaccination may suppress transmission, including asymptomatic transmission, in low- and middle-income settings. It was highly effective among children in a rural community setting and provides population-level benefits through indirect protection among adults.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1691-1701
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Epidemiology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 1 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Ecuador
  • Rotarix
  • Rotavirus
  • Rural
  • Vaccine effectiveness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology


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