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Pediatr Infect Dis J. 2019 May;38(5):539-541. doi: 10.1097/INF.0000000000002281.

Rotavirus Vaccination Does Not Increase Type 1 Diabetes and May Decrease Celiac Disease in Children and Adolescents.

Author information

1
From the Vaccine Research Center, Tampere University.
2
Department of Pediatrics, Tampere University Hospital.
3
Tampere Center for Child Health Research, Tampere University and Tampere University Hospital, Tampere, Finland.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Rotavirus (RV) infection has been proposed to trigger type 1 diabetes mellitus (DM1) and celiac disease (CD) by molecular mimicry in genetically susceptible children. If so, a live attenuated oral RV vaccine could also trigger these autoimmune diseases, or else, prevent the effect of wild-type RV infection.

METHODS:

In Rotavirus Efficacy and Safety Trial, conducted between 2001 and 2003, the participant children received RotaTeq (Kenilworth, NJ) vaccine or placebo in 1:1 ratio. The surveillance was extended as Finnish Extension Study. A questionnaire was sent in 2015 to the parents of 19,133 Finnish Extension Study participants and 5764 (30%) returned the questionnaire. Diagnosis of DM1, biopsy-proven CD and other autoimmune disease over the 11-14 year period were inquired.

RESULTS:

At the time of questionnaire, the prevalence of DM1 was similar in both groups, 0.97% (25 of 2580 children) in the placebo group and 1.04% (33 of 3184 children) in the vaccine group (P = 0.810). The prevalence of CD was significantly higher in placebo recipients (1.11%; confidence interval: 0.78%-1.6%) than in vaccine recipients (0.60%; confidence interval: 0.38%-0.93%) (P = 0.027).

CONCLUSIONS:

RV vaccination using RotaTeq did not alter the occurrence of DM1 but decreased the prevalence of CD in childhood and adolescence. We propose that wild-type RV may trigger CD and the triggering effect can be prevented or reduced by RV vaccination.

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