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N Engl J Med. 1983 Jul 14;309(2):72-6.

Clinical immunity after neonatal rotavirus infection. A prospective longitudinal study in young children.


To determine whether rotavirus infection in newborn babies conferred immunity to postneonatal rotavirus infection, we studied 81 babies at birth and kept them under clinical and serologic study for three years. During the first 14 days of life, 44 of the infants excreted rotavirus, and 37 did not. Fifty-five per cent of those with neonatal infection and 54 per cent of those without it had rotavirus infection during the next three years. Symptoms associated with postneonatal rotavirus infection were significantly less frequent and less severe in the infants who had had neonatal infection (P = 0.003) than in those who had not. Thirty-eight per cent of the former group (9 of 24 infants) had symptoms of mild (3 infants) or moderate (6) severity during the first postneonatal infection. In contrast, 85 per cent of the latter group (17 of 20 infants) had mild (3), moderate (6), or severe (8) symptoms. We conclude that neonatal rotavirus infection does not confer immunity against reinfection but does protect against the development of clinically severe disease during reinfection.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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