Rotavirus burden among children in the newly independent states of the former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics: Literature review and first-year results from the Rotavirus Surveillance Network

Radmila Mirzayeva, Margaret M. Cortese, Liudmila Mosina, Robin Biellik, Andrei Lobanov, Lyudmila Chernyshova, Marina Lashkarashvili, Soibnazar Turkov, Miren Iturriza‐Gomara, Jim Gray, Umesh D. Parashar, Duncan Steele, Nedret Emiroglu

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Background: Data on rotavirus burden among children in the 15 newly independent states of the former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, particularly contemporary data from poorer countries, are not widely available. These data are desired by policy makers to assess the value of rotavirus vaccination, especially since the GAVI Alliance approved financial support for the region’s eligible countries. The Rotavirus Surveillance Network was established to provide these data.

Methods: We reviewed the region’s literature on rotavirus burden. We established an active surveillance network for rotavirus and analyzed data from 2007 from 4 sentinel hospitals in 3 countries (Georgia, Tajikistan, and Ukraine) that were collected using standardized enrollment and stool sample testing methods.

Results: Specimens for rotavirus testing were collected before 1997 in most studies, and the majority of studies were from 1 country, the Russian Federation. Overall, the studies indicated that ∼33% of hospitalizations for gastroenteritis among children were attributable to rotavirus. The Rotavirus Surveillance Network documented that 1425 (42%) of 3374 hospitalizations for acute gastroenteritis among children aged <5 years were attributable to rotavirus (site median, 40%). Seasonal peaks (autumn through spring) were observed. Genotype data on 323 samples showed that G1P[8] was the most common type (32%), followed by G9P[8] (20%), G2P[4] (18%), and G4P[8] (18%). Infections due to G10 and G12 and mixed infections were also detected.

Conclusions: The burden of rotavirus disease in the newly independent states is substantial. Vaccines should be considered for disease prevention.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S203-S214
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Infectious Diseases
Issue numbers1
Publication statusPublished - 2009

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