Rotaviruses and rotavirus vaccines

Ulrich Desselberger, Emily Manktelow, Wilson Li, Winsome Cheung, Miren Iturriza-Gómara, Jim Gray

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

27 Citations (Scopus)


Research on the following areas is still in full flux and in part not generally accepted: several steps of the replication cycle (mechanism of viral entry into host cells, mechanisms of packaging and reassortment of viral RNAs, morphogenesis of subviral particles in viroplasms and maturation of virus particles in the rough endoplasmic reticulum (RER) with temporary acquisition and subsequent loss of an envelope), the true correlates of protection and the long-term effectiveness of RV vaccines. GROWING RESEARCH: Recently, a system that allows carrying out reverse genetics with some of the RV genes has been established which, however, has limitations. There is intensive research ongoing, which is trying to develop better and universally applicable reverse genetics systems. There is broad research on the molecular mechanisms of the immune response and on which immunological parameter correlates best with lasting protection from severe RV disease. Research into other than live attenuated vaccines is growing. AREAS TIMELY FOR DEVELOPING RESEARCH: The establishment of better reverse genetics systems for RVs is the most important research goal for both the understanding of the molecular biology of RVs and the development of new and safe RV vaccines. The black boxes of our knowledge on aspects of RV replication (RNA packaging, RNA replication, control of reassortment and functions of the non-structural RV proteins) are under intensive research.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)37-51
Number of pages15
JournalBritish Medical Bulletin
Publication statusPublished - 2009

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