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FEMS Microbiol Lett. 1999 Dec 1;181(1):1-8.

Genetic and antigenic diversity of human rotaviruses: potential impact on the success of candidate vaccines.

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Department of Gastroenterology and Clinical Nutrition, Royal Children's Hospital, Flemington Road, Parkville, Vict., Australia.


Licensing of the first human rotavirus vaccine raises the hope of a reduction in the burden of paediatric diarrheal disease. However, the less than optimal performance of this vaccine in trials carried out in developing countries indicates that improvements in vaccine design are necessary. Analysis of the genetic and antigenic diversity of rotavirus isolates collected from various geographical locations suggests that future vaccine formulations may need to include a broader spectrum of strains. This may increase vaccine efficacy by providing comprehensive coverage against circulating viruses. Continued surveillance and genetic analysis of the rotavirus population prior to and after the introduction of routine vaccination will reveal if the diversity of this pathogen will impact on the success of vaccine programs.

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