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Vaccine. 2012 Apr 27;30 Suppl 1:A101-5. doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2011.09.065.

Malnutrition levels among vaccinated and unvaccinated children between 2 and 3 years of age following enrollment in a randomized clinical trial with the pentavalent rotavirus vaccine (PRV) in Bangladesh.

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Department of International Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA.


A double-masked, individually randomized Phase 3 clinical trial to assess the efficacy, safety and immunogenicity of the pentavalent rotavirus vaccine (PRV), RotaTeq™, was conducted in rural Matlab, Bangladesh (NCT00362648). A total of 1136 infants were enrolled and randomized to receive either vaccine or placebo in a 1:1 ratio administered with the standard EPI vaccines at a mean age of approximately 8, 12, and 16 weeks. Weight was collected at four time points (study vaccine doses 1, 2, and 3, and a close-out visit in March 2009 at 15-26 months of age), and birth weight was retrospectively collected from information contained on the mother's health card when available. Approximately one year following trial completion a separate study was conducted to collect anthropometry measurements, including weight and height. These measurements were linked with Phase 3 trial data and a post hoc analysis was conducted to assess the effects of rotavirus vaccination on malnutrition among enrolled children who could be located when they were between 27 and 38 months old. Among the 1033 (91%) children located, and measured, for this analysis height-for-age and weight-for-height Z scores were calculated and compared between vaccine and placebo recipients at the anthropometry follow-up 1-year post-trial, and weight-for-age Z scores were calculated at four trial time points in addition to the anthropometry follow-up. The data indicated that there was no effect of rotavirus vaccination on malnutrition in this population at any of the measured time points. PRV, estimated to have about 43% efficacy against severe rotavirus gastroenteritis in this population, may not reduce the overall burden of diarrheal illness sufficiently among all vaccinees to appreciably measure impact on growth compared with non-vaccinees. Regardless of the impact on malnutrition indicators, rotavirus vaccines are an important intervention for reducing morbidity and mortality in children in developing countries.

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