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J Pediatric Infect Dis Soc. 2014 Mar;3(1):57-65. doi: 10.1093/jpids/pit060. Epub 2013 Oct 14.

The Safety and Immunogenicity of Rotavirus Vaccination in Infants With Intestinal Failure.

Author information

  • 1Division of Pediatric General and Thoracic Surgery, Seattle Children's Hospital and University of Washington School of Medicine, and
  • 2Division of Pediatric General and Thoracic Surgery, Seattle Children's Hospital and University of Washington School of Medicine, and.
  • 3Investigational Drug Service, Seattle Children's Hospital, Washington.
  • 4Division of Infectious Diseases, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, Ohio; and.
  • 5Division of Gastroenterology.
  • 6Division of Infectious Disease, Seattle Children's Hospital and University of Washington School of Medicine.



Young children with intestinal failure are at risk for complications from rotavirus gastroenteritis. To date, the safety and immunogenicity of rotavirus vaccines in these children are not known. We hypothesized that rotavirus vaccination would be safe and confer immunity to infants with intestinal failure and a history of abdominal surgery.


The study population consisted of infants with early intestinal failure who required abdominal surgery and parenteral nutrition for necrotizing enterocolitis, gastroschisis, jejunoileal atresia, or meconium peritonitis. Subjects received a rotavirus vaccine series at the appropriate age. Safety assessments were performed for the first 5 days after each vaccine dose. Viral stool shedding and serum rotavirus antigen were measured at multiple time points after each dose of the vaccine. A 3-fold increase in rotavirus immunoglobulin A titer at study completion defined seroconversion.


Fifteen infants were enrolled and 14 infants completed the study protocol. Mild diarrhea, emesis, and fever were noted after vaccination in 33%, 40%, and 7% of subjects, respectively. No subject experienced postvaccine intussusception, viremia, dehydration, or required alterations in nutritional care. Viral stool shedding was noted in 47%, but only 1 child shed virus beyond 2 weeks postvaccination. All subjects who were not considered immune at baseline developed seroconversion to rotavirus after vaccination.


In infants with intestinal failure, rotavirus vaccination appears to be safe and immunogenic. We found no evidence for altered viral shedding in this population. Given the profound consequences associated with rotavirus infection and potential benefits of rotavirus vaccine in this cohort, multicenter studies focusing on vaccine efficacy are warranted.


immunogenicity; infants; intestinal failure; rotavirus; rotavirus vaccine; safety

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