Rotaviruses are the most common cause of severe diarrhea among children under the age of five worldwide.
The oral transmission mode is virulent due to the great resistance of the virus. The infection may be asymptomatic or cause gastroenteritis. The most severe forms may lead to death. It is estimated that rotaviruses kill approximately 300,000 children under five years of age in sub-Saharan Africa every year.
There are currently two rotavirus vaccines available: Rotarix®, developed by GlaxoSmithKline, and Rotateq®, developed by Merck & Co. However, the dissemination of these vaccines in developing countries is very limited due to high costs and difficulties in managing the supply chain to ensure the cold chain. In addition, the lack of scientific data and economic arguments prevents policy makers from determining whether it is a priority intervention area.
Against this background, AMP has conducted several studies and led a number of projects to help countries assess the impact of rotavirus vaccines for possible introduction.