Studies have demonstrated reduced rotavirus vaccine effectiveness (VE) in resource-limited settings. Enteropathogen coinfections in rotavirus cases have been hypothesized to contribute to the lower VE in such settings. We sought to determine if coinfections affect rotavirus VE in Botswana.Methods:
Between June 2013 and April 2015, children <60 months old, presenting with severe gastroenteritis at 4 hospitals as part of a national rotavirus surveillance were enrolled. Rotavirus enzyme immunoassay (EIA)–positive samples were tested with an in-house real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) panel that detected 9 pathogens and a commercial 15 multiplex PCR gastrointestinal pathogen panel. Coinfection was defined as detection of rotavirus plus 1 of the 5 pathogens with the highest attributable fractions for diarrhea. Vaccine status was compared between rotavirus case patients and non-rotavirus “test-negative” controls. VE was also calculated restricting cases to those with rotavirus as the only pathogen detected.Results:
Two hundred and forty-two children tested rotavirus EIA positive, and 368 children were negative. Of the 182 rotavirus EIA-positive samples tested with the gastrointestinal pathogen panel assay, coinfections were detected in 60 (33%). The overall adjusted 2-dose VE was 59% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 27–77) in the rotavirus coinfection group and 51% (95% CI: −14 to 79) in the rotavirus monoinfection subgroup. Using in-house multiplex PCR panel, of 213 rotavirus EIA-positive subjects, coinfections were detected in 98 samples (46%). The overall adjusted VEs for 2 doses were 48% (95% CI: −2 to 74) and 62% (95% CI: 25–80) in rotavirus monoinfection subgroup.Conclusions:
We could not find evidence of an effect of enteric coinfections on the effectiveness of rotavirus vaccine.