Epidemiology of rotavirus in India
- Cite this article as:
- Jain, V., Parashar, U.D., Glass, R.I. et al. Indian J Pediatr (2001) 68: 855. doi:10.1007/BF02762113
- 203 Downloads
Rotavirus is the leading cause of childhood diarrhea worldwide, causing an estimated 600,000 deaths each year. To assess the potential benefits of a national rotavirus immunization program in India, we analyzed 40 published studies of rotavirus that were conducted between 1976 and 1997 and included a total of approximately 13,000 Indian pediatric inpatients. Pediatric studies featuring 100 or more patients and lasting at least 12 months in duration and all neonatal studies were analyzed. Rotavirus was detected in a median of 18% of pediatric patients and 28% of neonates surveyed. Fifty percent of all children hospitalized with rotavirus by age 5 were hospitalized by the age of 6 months, 75% by the age of 9 months, and almost 100% by the age of 2 years. Rotavirus was most prevalent (31%) in children between 7 and 12 months of age, followed by children between 1 and 2 years of age (20%), and children <7 months of age (13%). VP7 genotypes G1 and G2 were most commonly isolated although significant heterogeneity of serotypes was observed. P, G9 strains were most frequently isolated among neonates. In 1998; approximately 98,000 childhood deaths were caused by rotavirus. These data underscore the urgent need for safe and effective interventions against rotavirus such as vaccines. The significant diversity of rotavirus strains and young age of hospitalization pose unique challenges to the formulation of a rotavirus immunization program in India, but raise the possibility of utilizing a neonatal vaccine to provide effective coverage.