Has Rotavirus Vaccination Decreased the Prevalence of Biliary Atresia?

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Objectives:Biliary atresia (BA) is a rare neonatal liver disease that causes cholestasis and is the leading indication for pediatric liver transplantation. Although the exact etiology of BA remains unknown, evidence from murine models supports the role of rotavirus infection in the development of BA. In 2006, universal rotavirus vaccination was implemented in the United States. The goal of this study was to determine if the prevalence of BA correlated with the number of annual rotavirus infections.Methods:We utilized data from the 1997 to 2012 Kids’ Inpatient Database and the 1988 to 2015 Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network to determine the annual number of infant discharges with a primary diagnosis of BA and the number of infants with BA who received a liver transplant, respectively. We obtained the number of annual rotavirus infections from the National Respiratory and Enteric Virus Surveillance System and examined whether trends existed between the data from these 3 sources over time.Results:From 1997 to 2006, the number of positive rotavirus antigen tests remained steady, however a rapid decrease was observed from 2006 to 2012 (8774 to 1277), coinciding with the uptake of rotavirus immunizations nationwide. The number of BA discharges doubled from 1997 to 2003 and again increased from 2006 to 2012 (67 to 137 and 117 to 156), while the number of liver transplants for BA changed very little from 1997 to 2012.Conclusions:The recent implementation of rotavirus vaccination has not had any substantial influence on the prevalence of BA in the United States.

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